The Recognition and Prevention (RAP) Program is a research program developed to help young people, ages 13 to 30, who are concerned about recent changes in their thoughts, feelings and perceptions which may be impacting social, academic or occupational functioning. These changes are often confusing and difficult to convey to others. Things don’t seem right, but it is hard to pinpoint the problem. The RAP Program offers people the opportunity to discuss their concerns with mental health professionals. These symptoms may constitute the early warning signs of an emerging psychiatric illness. RAP’s approach is that mental and emotional problems are often like physical problems: The sooner they are treated, the better. The longer an illness is left untreated, the greater the disruption to the person’s ability to study, work, and interact with friends, family and peers.
The RAP Program is currently conducting two major research studies funded by the National Institute of Mental Health. The first is a research program designed to identify biological predictors and mechanisms of illness (See Research Procedures). The second is an intervention study comparing two forms of group psychotherapy (See Clinical Options).
History of the Recognition and Prevention (RAP) Program
The RAP Program is dedicated to the early identification and treatment of adolescents and young adults who are considered to be at clinical high-risk for developing serious psychiatric illness as adults, especially psychotic disorders. The major goal of the RAP Program is to prevent mental illness from developing in at-risk teens and young adults. Since the onset of the RAP Program in 1998, over 500 young people have participated in both treatment and research components of the RAP Program. While a considerable improvement has already been seen resulting from the RAP intervention procedures, new treatment strategies, both pharmacological and psychosocial, continue to be evaluated.
From a research perspective, the RAP Program is focused on identifying biologically based risk factors and understanding the neurodevelopmental processes leading to mental illness, ranging from the earliest genetic factors through the causes of the long term disability that often characterize the illness. The RAP Program is funded by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) and is a member of a large multi-site research consortium, the North American Prodrome Longitudinal Study (NAPLS). The RAP Program is directed by Dr. Barbara Cornblatt, a renowned research scientist in the clinical high-risk field (See Personnel). The program is located on the Zucker Hillside Hospital (ZHH) campus of the North Shore-LIJ Health System in Glen Oaks, NY. RAP is affiliated with the Psychiatry Research and Child & Adolescent Outpatient departments at ZHH in addition to the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research.