The Recognition and Prevention (RAP) Program is a research clinic developed to help young people, ages 13 to 25, 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. RAP 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. This is the time to intervene. 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 has two major components both of which are critical to achieving effective interventions. The primary component is research based and involves several cutting-edge biological procedures (See Research Procedures). The second component is the clinical program and consists of a variety of treatment interventions (See Clinical Options). Our treatment is constantly evolving and informed by our research results.
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 illness from developing in at-risk youngsters. 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 high rate of clinical improvement has already resulted from the RAP intervention procedures, new treatment strategies, both pharmacological and psychosocial, continue to be evaluated, with a particular emphasis on family involvement.
From a research perspective, the RAP program is focused on identifying biologically based risk factors and understanding the neurodevelopmental processes leading to illness, ranging from the earliest genetic factors through the causes of the long term disability often characteristic of illness. The RAP Program is funded by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) and several private foundations and is a member of two large multi-site research consortiums. RAP 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.