Center hosts 20th Annual STEP Symposium

The STEP Symposium offers mental health professionals, advocates, individuals and families living with schizophrenia an annual learning opportunity focused on innovative treatment approaches.

Center hosts 20th Annual STEP Symposium click to enlarge L-R Front row: Paul Demello, MS, Carly Brinster, MA, Carol Vanderzwagg, MD, Lin Crockett, PhD. Back row: Shane Rau, MD, PhD, Thava Mahadevan, MS, and Nanette Larson, BA, CRSS.

The Center celebrated its Annual STEP (Schizophrenia Treatment and Evaluation Program) Symposium, Saturday, April 13, 2013, at the William and Ida Friday Center in Chapel Hill. “What’s new in treatment and recovery” focused on treatment and recovery for individuals with schizophrenia.

Featured Speaker Nanette  Larson, BA, CRSS, director of Recovery Support Services at the Illinois Department of Human Services/Division of Mental Health, shared her recovery experience “Recovery: The Journey“ with the 100 program participants.

 Fredrik Jarskog, MD, professor in the UNC Department of Psychiatry and research director of the North Carolina Psychiatric Research Center, presented a scientific overview “New directions in the treatment of schizophrenia.

A panel of UNC clients/patients also provided insight into their recovery experience. David Penn, PhD, Linda Wagner-Martin Distinguished Professor of Psychology, in the UNC Department of Psychology and director of Psychological Services at the UNC OASIS Program, moderated the panel discussion.

STEP is a specialized treatment program for adults with schizophrenia and other severe mental disorders. Outpatient clinics are located at Carr Mill Mall in Carrboro and in Wake County. An inpatient unit is located at the North Carolina Neurosciences Hospital.

“It is exciting to realize that the STEP program has around for more than 20 years and has grown and thrived,’ says John Gilmore, MD, director of the Center and founding director of the STEP program in 1992.

 “We’ve made a significant contribution to the care of patients with schizophrenia in our community and around the state, and look forward to the next 20 years," he continues.

 Contact for information about next year's symposium.