Early Assessment and Support Alliance (EASA)

 Early Assessment and Support Alliance (EASA)

The purpose of EASA is to identify youth with symptoms of psychosis as early as possible, and to provide the most effective support and treatment so they can be successful. EASA Services are available without regard to ability to pay.

What is psychosis?

Psychosis is a common brain condition which, if untreated, prevents the person from being able to know what is real and what is not real.

3 in 100 individuals develop psychosis, usually between ages 15 and 25.

Early symptoms are often subtle, but can be the most disabling. They affect young people’s ability to complete schoolwork, interact socially and accomplish daily tasks.

    Common early symptoms include: 

  • Changes to the brain’s working memory and organizational ability
  • Reduced ability to filter out information
  • Sensory sensitivity
    Later symptoms of psychosis include:

  • Hallucinations (seeing and hearing things others don’t)
  • Delusions (bizarre, out-of-character, fixed beliefs)
  • Disturbances to speech, emotional expression, and movement

Who should I refer?

If a person is having new, significant and worsening difficulties in several of the following areas, call for a consultation:

    Reduced performance

  • Trouble reading or understanding complex sentences
  • Trouble speaking or understanding what others are saying
  • Becoming easily confused or lost
  • Trouble in sports or other activities that used to be easy (Example: can’t dribble basketball or pass to team members)
  • Attendance problems related to sleep or fearfulness
    Behavior changes

  • Extreme fear for no apparent reason
  • Uncharacteristic actions or statements that make no sense
  • Impulsive and reckless behavior (giving away all belongings, etc.)
  • New, bizarre beliefs
  • Incoherent or bizarre writing
  • Extreme social withdrawal
  • Decline in appearance and hygiene
  • Dramatic changes in sleep (sleeping almost not at all or all the time)
  • Dramatic changes in eating behavior
    Perceptual changes

  • Fear that others are trying to hurt them
  • Heightened sensitivity to sights, sounds, smells or touch
  • Making statements like “my brain is playing tricks on me”
  • Hearing voices or other sounds that others don’t
  • Reporting visual changes (colors more intense, faces distorted, lines turned wavy)
  • Racing thoughts
  • Feeling like someone else is putting thoughts into their brain or that others are reading their thoughts