A Strong Tradition.
Since 1993, health professionals learning to treat people with serious mental illness have had internships or field placements at STEP, the Schizophrenia Treatment and Evaluation Program, within the Department of Psychiatry at UNC-Chapel Hill's School of Medicine.
History of STEP
Founded by psychiatrists, nurses, social workers, occupational therapists, and recreation therapists who worked together on an inpatient unit, STEP was developed to offer specialized programming for those inpatients with psychotic disorders. To improve continuity of care, the inpatient staff started seeing their patients in the outpatient setting. In 1993, the STEP clinic served 54 outpatients. Now, there are two STEP clinics serving more than 300 people.
Since STEP's early days, over 170 psychiatry residents and 20 clinical social work students have trained here, along with others in the fields of psychology, rehabilitation counseling and psychology, nursing, pharmacy, occupational therapy, and public health. Many of these professionals remain in practice throughout North Carolina.
With the creation of the Center in 2009, we expanded our internship and field placement opportunities and further embraced an interdisciplinary focus, recognizing the rich dialogue and creative thinking that can occur when multiple disciplines work together on challenging issues. This approach serves as the backbone of our training philosophy.