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RHA Behavioral Health SHORE Program Opens in Wilmington

SHORE enrolled our first client in March, 2015 and now have 27 total.

Since starting our program, we are seeing positive outcomes including the ability to achieve personal goals and a significant reduction in hospitalizations and ER visits.

So what is SHORE?

Supporting Hope Opportunities Recovery and Empowerment (SHORE) is a first-episode psychosis treatment program based at the RHA Covil location in Wilmington.

Our SHORE team consists of a team lead, who also serves as primary clinician, an additional part-time clinician, a Supportive Employment Education Specialist (SEES), a Peer Support Specialist, a part-time registered nurse, and a part-time psychiatrist.
Our Wilmington SHORE Team
Heather Hughes, Team Lead; Tiara Tate, primary 
clinician; Demetria Gaines, SEES; Stephanie Murray-
Block, Peer Support Specialist; Aimee Fowler, RN;

But What Exactly Does SHORE Do?

We employ a recovery-oriented treatment approach by focusing our initial efforts on engagement in treatment. The individual meets weekly, or more often if deemed necessary, with his or her primary clinician and with the psychiatrist.

The individual also begins working with the SEES and peer support specialist, with early focus placed on goal-setting. As the more acute treatment phase passes and clients are more stabilized, they are seen less frequently by the psychiatrist and possibly therapist.

In the next phase, a greater focus for work and/or school readiness and involvement becomes the priority. On average individuals receive treatment through SHORE for about 2 years. Individuals are encouraged to attend group therapy, social activities, and stay involved in the family support program.

One of our individuals described her experience with SHORE stating, “I feel like it just gives me a really strong support system and I feel like since I’ve been going I’ve been feeling overall better about my wellness and my stress levels have gone down. My medications have really helped me too.”

Questions about SHORE, or about first-episode psychosis treatment?

Contact RHA Behavioral Health-Wilmington at 910-332-7734,
503 Covil Avenue, Suite 102 Wilmington, NC 28403

SHORE Treats Schizophrenia Spectrum Disorders

New research into the treatment of schizophrenia spectrum disorders is revitalizing our approach to treating these potentially debilitating disorders. The focus of this new research is known as “first episode psychosis”— and the outcomes have been so encouraging that there is a national effort to train treatment teams in this new treatment model called Coordinated Specialty Care.

Basically, what has been discovered is that if we treat young people quickly and vigorously with medication, psychoeducation, family support and therapy –and assist them with staying involved in life—they have a much higher likelihood of successful outcomes. In this treatment approach, successful outcomes are such achievements as competitive employment, pursuing education, or attaining other life goals.

With schizophrenia, the onset of symptoms is typically between the ages of 15-30 (with most in their late teens and early twenties). The more active or “positive” symptoms of psychosis can be effectively treated with medication, in most cases. However, over time the “negative” symptoms can gain traction. These include significant social and emotional withdrawal, lack of executive (planning/organizing) functions, and eventual loss of personality.

Many of us have met people with chronic schizophrenia whose lives seem to consist solely of sleeping, sitting or pacing, walking and going to the doctor. Many of these “severe and persistent mentally ill” are homeless and/or go in and out of the hospital or jail. The quality of life is quite low and level of disability quite high. It is precisely this level of debilitation that the “first episode” programs are attempting to prevent or mitigate.

By intervening early, and empowering clients and families with education—as well as dispelling stigma—people do not have to be relegated to a life of disability. These young people are encouraged to identify their dreams, to stay in school or the workforce—even if they experience some symptoms—and we help them develop ways to cope. By keeping these individuals on their developmental trajectory, we hope to reduce their risk of chronic disability.