Grant Will Allow Ozark Center to Focus on Psychosis in Youth

Grant Will Allow Ozark Center to Focus on Psychosis in Youth

The Ozark Center kicked off a new program this afternoon. The SOC-CESS program will increase awareness on psychosis in teens.
Participants experience a virtual reality, seeing and hearing what someone with schizophrenia might. For 2 of Shari Allgood’s children, it is a reality.
“[My son] was probably 7 years old when the first doctor said [schizophrenia is] probably what we’re going with and that was scary as a mom,” says Allgood.
The Ozark Center’s new SOC-CESS program will help families like the Allgoods, putting the focus on youth’s with psychosis, a condition common with several mental illnesses.
“Not knowing if something is real versus not real so for example, maybe I’m seeing something in the corner of this room and to me that is real, but to everyone else no one else can see it,” says Aubrey Doss, the project coordinator for the SOC-CESS grant.
The SOC-CESS program will educate the community so that families are better prepared before a first episode of psychosis. Research show that early intervention leads to better outcomes for the individual.
“They might have decreased hospital stays some of them might not go on to experience a true first episode of psychosis if we can catch them quick enough and give families information about how to handle and deal with the situation,” says Doss.
Information Allgood says she wished she had 10 years ago when her children were showing early signs of mental illness.
“I would just keep searching and asking questions and it felt like I was running into a brick wall,” she says.
Now she works as a family support provider for the Ozark Center. The SOC-CESS grant will allow her to help other parents in the same situation.
“Hearing all of these different diagnoses, I felt like okay this is my life I’m never going to be able to do anything. I just felt like I was personally held back and you don’t have to be there is help out there,” says Allgood.
The Ozark Center will receive about $500,000 a year for the next 4 years for the program.