VIPS provides assessment and early intervention assistance for young people between the ages of 16 and 25 who are at risk for mental illness in Ventura County. VIPS has two offices to serve the entire Ventura County. On in Ventura and one in Simi Valley. VIPS consists of a diverse clinical team trained to assess and treat young people experiencing the early warning signs of psychosis. The VIPS team assists young people and their families to build coping skills, increase communication, reduce stress, and increase performance in all areas of the young person’s life. Consultations and assessments with trained professionals determine whether an individual could benefit from VIPS services. The VIPS team educates community members (staff at high schools and colleges, county agencies and organization serving young people, spiritual leaders, community centers, and nurses and physicians) about the early warning signs of psychosis and provides referral information to those individuals and organizations who help identify young people who are exhibiting these early symptoms; conduct confidential assessments specifically designed to identify risk for actual psychosis; and provide individualized treatment for the young person and his/her family. Treatment includes: therapy, family therapy, multi-family groups, psycho-education, psychiatric/medication options, intensive case management; education and employment support, and nursing services. VIPS serves young people who have had symptoms for up to 18 months.
Since January 2011, VIPS has: made 1012 outreach presentations; received 444 referrals, provided 151 evaluations identifying 134 individuals who could benefit from services. VIPS currently serves 51 families in Ventura County. VIPs has connected many clients to employment opportunities (up to 66%), up to 38% were connected to volunteer work, and has maintained up to 83% in school, with 100% graduating from high school or college. From 26% of clients having been hospitalized at least once upon entering the program to only four 3 day hospitalizations to date, and only one client having had 1 suicide attempt.
Services and Supports:
The Best Practice Model is based upon the Portland Identification and Early Referral (PIER) fidelity model and provides; multi-family problem-solving groups; Psycho-education workshops; How to get a Job Workshops; on-going family gatherings; and on-going "Kick-it" friends club.
To access mental health services, or for immediate help, please call 24/7 1-866-998-2243.