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Portland Identification and Early Referral (PIER)

The PIER Program Logo
(207) 662-3681

To learn more about the study:

(207) 662-3681

Other resources:
Maine Medical Center Outpatient Psychiatry

NAMI Maine

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation 

Early Signs of Psychotic Illnesses: What Practitioners Need to Know
May 12, 2014

Conference Handouts: (pdf)

Preventing the Onset of Severe Mental Illness: Lessons Learned  

More Information about EDIPPP Multisite Study

The PIER MAY (Mental Health Attitudes of Youth) Study is an innovative research program that provides assessment and referral for young people between 12 and 35 who are showing the early signs of serious mental illness.  Individuals seeking help for recent changes in thinking and functioning can receive screening and assessment through the PIER MAY Study.

From 2000-2011, the PIER Program was a treatment research program with the mission of reducing the incidence of psychotic illnesses (such as schizophrenia, major depression, and bipolar disorder) in the Greater Portland area.  Funding sources no longer support the active treatment component of the PIER Program.

Today, PIER is conducting a research study to look at the experiences of young people who are at high risk for or showing early warning signs of psychosis, such as hearing voices that no one else hears, seeing things that aren’t there, showing disorganized thinking, and becoming suspicious of others. These symptoms can be easily ignored if they are mild and don’t significantly interfere with functioning. On the other hand, young people can be aware that they are experiencing brain changes and may feel they are “going crazy” but are afraid to tell someone.

For the PIER MAY Study, there is no catchment area—anyone within the State of Maine can be referred. If an adolescent or young adult seems to be dealing with the early symptoms of psychosis, please make a referral to the study. That individual may qualify for a thorough assessment of their symptoms, with follow-up at six months as well as an optional referral for services. Study participants are eligible for small stipends for their time. For more information or to make a referral, please call (207) 662-3681