Ten Years of Early Diagnosis and Treatment for At-Risk Youth


A review in European Psychiatry of South London’s OASIS, “one of the largest and most established prodromal services in the world,” finds that out of 1102 referrals over the last decade, only 44 subjects developed psychosis. The majority of OASIS clients received cognitive behavioral therapy alone or in combination with antidepressants/antipsychotics.

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Kermit Cole
Kermit Cole, MFT, founding editor of Mad in America, works in Santa Fe, New Mexico as a couples and family therapist. Inspired by Open Dialogue, he works as part of a team and consults with couples and families that have members identified as patients. His work in residential treatment — largely with severely traumatized and/or "psychotic" clients — led to an appreciation of the power and beauty of systemic philosophy and practice, as the alternative to the prevailing focus on individual pathology. A former film-maker, he has undergraduate and master's degrees in psychology from Harvard University, as well as an MFT degree from the Council for Relationships in Philadelphia. He is a doctoral candidate with the Taos Institute and the Free University of Brussels. You can reach him at [email protected].


  1. Hmm, seems like the OASIS study is really going about the work of policing young, black Caribbean males in order to keep the immigrant crime rate down in London. I’m no statistician, but it strikes me that 44 psychosis outcomes out of 1102 study participants is about the rate you would expect if the subjects were left untreated. Assuming the 1058 others were distracted from crime because of weight gain and medication management, perhaps we can call this outcome a success?

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    • I think you’ve hit the nail directly on its head! Here in America the number of angry, young African American men in psychiatric hospitals and units rose dramatically in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s. There’s even been an very insidious government program to try and drug inner city African American children. In the state hospital where I work the ratio of African American patients to White patients is at least 80% and 20% and may actually be higher. The number of forensic patients grows with each passing day, and guess what? The majority of them are African American. Part of this is due to the fact that more White people have private insurance and will go to the private psychiatric hospitals in the city but a lot of it has to do with the fact that People of Color are up for grabs in the system. The people manning the system will vehemently deny my charge, but I firmly believe that there is a racial bias when it comes to locking up and treating populations of people. Psychiatry has been accused of being a profession filled with people who like to be in control so what better profession to use if you want to control African American people that you’re afraid of? By dragging children into the system at an early age and by using the toxic drugs you effectively nullify these people and create a compliant group which never gives any problems nor voices any vocal opinions about anything. I know this sounds like those stupid conspiracy people but after watching what happens in my hospital I’m really beginning to question a lot of what is done and am wondering if it’s not carried out in great party to modify our society and what it doesn’t want to deal with.

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