The RAISE Study

The Recovery After Initial Schizophrenia Episode (RAISE) Study that was implemented in 2010 and has ended proved that early intervention with the right treatment–individualized therapy, family education, medications, and job and education support– resulted in a better outcome for study participants.

I have been THE champion for getting the right treatment right away for over a decade now. Today I’m no longer a lone wolf barking or braying or doing whatever wolves do in the wilderness with no one listening to them.

The study results were so spectacular that our government allocated increased funds for this early intervention program that could be rolled out in 100 to 120 mental health centers across America soon.

Just the facts: the RAISE study proved that getting the right treatment right away results in a better recovery outcome.

Just the truth: no young person who is capable of so much more in life should be relegated to warming a chair in a traditional day program long-term.

We now have proof positive that getting the right treatment right away results in better life opportunities for individuals diagnosed with schizophrenia. No kidding.

My first-person account is remarkable because I accomplished everything I did long before getting the right treatment right away was ever possible for someone like me. I was hospitalized within 24 hours and placed on medication and three weeks later the symptoms were gone. Three years later I obtained a job as an administrative assistant and six months after that I moved into my own apartment.

The time is now. The time is now to call or write our elected officials in Washington and tell them: “Get off your asses. Get your fingers out of the money in the big business cookie jar. Use the billions you spend on creating unnecessary wars to fund early intervention for schizophrenia patients.”

We bombed to destruction a Doctors Without Borders hospital. We ruined Iraq’s indigenous natural agriculture and replaced it with GMO crops after  the U.S. paid millions of dollars to consultants after the farmland was destroyed.

We did absolutely nothing in Rwanda and Darfur. We have a history of picking and choosing the countries we bomb or fund. I suspect we did nothing in Cambodia when Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge annihilated thousands of its citizens. I read once that the Khmer Rouge killed people who wore eyeglasses because it was thought people who wore eyeglasses were part of the intelligensia.

Imagine: a world without war.

Imagine: a society where the U.S. government spends billions on mental health instead of using that money to create wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Imagine: a society where the U.S. government puts ordinary people above the profits of big business.

Deregulation is not the answer. Monsanto polluted a town’s waterways with PCBs and this caused the town to be a ghost town whose former residents all developed cancer and died.

Tell me again why deregulation is a good thing when agribusinesses are allowed to destroy the Earth: our only home for ourselves and future generations.

Tell me again why spending billions to bomb Muslim countries is the government’s answer to terrorism. Terrorists will always pop up like ducks in a shooting gallery game at an amusement park. Spending billions to start wars hasn’t stopped any terrorists in their tracks.

The trickle-down theory is a myth too. It doesn’t work in reality.

Now I tell you again:

Call or e-mail your elected officials in Washington on Tuesday, October 20th. A briefing is being held between 2:00 and 4:00 p.m. in the Rayburn building to lobby for increased funding for FEP (first-episode psychosis) via the RAISE intervention and other programs.

Tuesday, October 20th is the date.

You can e-mail your congressperson and senator on October 20th to tell them: “We’re mad as hell, and we’re not going to take it anymore. Getting the right treatment right away enables individuals who’ve had a first break to succeed in life. Instead of becoming permanently disabled. Do it. Do it today. Fund FEP.”

Go on those government websites to log on to your elected official’s homepage where you can send them an e-mail.

I tell you: war is good for absolutely nothing circa 2015. We don’t need another war.

We need mental health treatment given right away that gives every person diagnosed with schizophrenia the equal opportunity to have a better life.

The RAiSE Study Information.

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Author: Chris Bruni

Christina Bruni is the author of the critically acclaimed memoir Left of the Dial. She owns a resume writing and career help business. She contributed a chapter "Recovery is Within Reach" to Benessere Psicologico: Contemporary Thought on Italian American Mental Health. As well as an author and activist, Bruni is an artist and a fitness buff.

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