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Home Academics Best Practices in Schizophrenia Treatment Center FIRST Program in Summit County, Ohio

FIRST Program in Summit County, Ohio

The BeST Center, Child Guidance & Family Solutions and Community Support Services Inc., both Summit County, Ohio, agencies, have partnered to offer FIRST, a comprehensive treatment program for individuals who have had an initial episode of a schizophrenia spectrum disorder and reside in or near Summit County.

FIRST treatment services offered in Summit County are based at Child Guidance & Family Solutions, 312 Locust Street in Akron, Ohio. FIRST can provide immediate, state-of-the-art, sustained help. To learn more, please contact:

Todd Newman,MSW, LISW, FIRST Team Leader


Members of the FIRST treatment team are: front row, from left, Vera Buk-Bjerre, Ph.D., Individual Resiliency Trainer; Lindsay McClure, B.A., Supported Employment/Education Specialist; Kenneth Buzzelli, LISW, LICDC, Individual Resiliency Trainer. In back, from left, Anita Sharp, B.A., CPST, Case Manager; Todd Newman, MSW, LISW, Team Leader and Family Psychoeducator; and Steven Jewell, M.D., Medical Director.

Treatment providers work in a team-based, integrated way to achieve the following goals:

  • Improve recovery
  • Reduce relapse rates
  • Set goals for the future

FIRST treatment services include:

Family Psychoeducation:

  • Teach family members about symptoms
  • Improve communication
  • Improve problem-solving
  • Build support and understanding within the family

Supported Employment/Education:

  • Rapid placement in the workforce
  • Assistance with educational goals
  • On-the-job follow-along services

Medication Management:

  • Psychiatric evaluation
  • Medication management of symptoms
  • Shared decision-making
  • Use of the safest, most effective medications available

Individual Resiliency Training:

  • Help with goal setting
  • Education about the illness
  • Develop the ability to bounce back
  • Deal with negative feelings
  • Cope with symptoms
  • Prevent a relapse of symptoms
  • Discuss substance use
  • Education about maintaining a healthy lifestyle
  • Maintain and develop relationships
  • Have fun

Case Management:

  • Assistance in achieving greater independence
  • Linking to community resources
  • Help accessing and acquiring services
  • Help navigating systems

Please click on the links below to learn more about:

FIRST Public Education and Outreach

In addition to integrated treatment, FIRST also includes an assertive public education and outreach program to help people better identify the signs and symptoms of a schizophrenia spectrum disorder and to let them know that they can turn to FIRST for help. If you or your organization would like to learn more about FIRST, please contact:

Todd Newman, MSW, LISW, FIRST Team Leader

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