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Frequently Asked Questions

Should I call the RAP Program?

When in doubt, call - even if it is just to talk to one of our RAP professionals over the phone. There is convincing evidence that early intervention reduces the impact and disruption in a person's life and may prevent the onset of psychosis altogether. Do not take the "wait and see" approach.

What if the young person won't agree to come to the RAP office?

While people are often concerned about this issue, in our experience, refusal to participate is quite rare. We are experienced in working with families to motivate their children to come in for evaluations and treatment. Further, we personalize treatments to make participants as comfortable as possible. If this is a concern for you and your family, please call us to talk it over.

Does RAP provide medications?

When the presenting problems warrant it, yes. Our affiliated psychiatrists are board certified and have particular expertise in the use of medication to treat adolescent and young adult mental health problems. Our psychiatrists will provide patients and family members with recommendations to treat the presenting complaints. Patients and families will be fully informed of the potential benefits and potential risks involved in taking medication. Consultations are an active collaborative process between patients, family members, and physician.

Does the RAP Program accept insurance for treatment services?

All treatment in the RAP Program is billed to the patient's insurance plan. This includes the initial intake assessment, individual and family therapy sessions, and medication consultations and ongoing visits. Patients/families will be responsible for all applicable co-payments based on their insurance plans. Many insurance plans are accepted by the North Shore-LIJ Health System.

How can participation in research help me?

Certain research procedures, including interviews and neuropsychological testing, provide immediate results that can help our physicians provide the best possible care to the patient. Other procedures such as MRI and EEG provide essential information that can further our knowledge of how the brain works. This information could lead to future treatments that will be of great benefit to other adolescents and to society at large. In the end, you can feel good about not only helping yourself, but also helping others.

Is the MRI procedure the safe?

The MRI is considered safe and involves the use of magnets to take pictures of the brain. It does not involve radiation, which is used in PET scans and X-rays. There are no known long term risks and MRIs have been used for several decades. There is a loud noise when the machine is operating, but ear plugs will be provided. Some individuals find the limited space in the MRI machine to be confining. If participants experience discomfort, they can speak to the technician and request to stop the procedure at any time.

Does the EEG procedure involve electrical shocks?

The EEG does NOT pass electricity through the brain; it only records electrical impulses that are naturally present on the surface of the scalp. The EEG test is harmless and non-invasive which means that the skin is not broken. A technician places a cap on the head and connects a series of electrodes. The electrodes are connected to the scalp with clear gel that can be easily washed out after the procedure.

Who will have access to the information I provide during my participation in research?

The information collected during research is considered confidential and will only be shared with RAP program staff. If you have a psychiatrist or psychologist that you would like us to speak with regarding your assessment, we will ask you (or your parent if you are under 18) to sign a release of information. The RAP Program never releases any information to outside persons without written consent. Research records containing your information will be housed in locked file cabinets and data will be entered into a secure computerized database.

Do my parents have to know that I am participating in the RAP program?

This depends on your age. If you are 18 years or older, you can consent to participate in the research program and in treatment on your own. Parent/legal guardian involvement is optional.

If you are 17 years or younger, a parent/legal guardian must come with you to your first appointment to sign consent for you to participate in research. While it is preferred, it is not required that your parent participate in research interviews. Your parent(s) will be informed of our treatment recommendations.