FIRST Episode Psychosis

FIRST Lucas & Wood Counties is an evidence based, specialized treatment program designed to address a psychotic illness when the symptoms first appear in order for a faster and more complete recovery to occur.
First Episode Psychosis FEP

A psychotic illness is a mental illness where someone experiences some loss of contact with reality.  Examples of a psychotic illness include Schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder.  If you or someone you know is experiencing psychotic symptoms (examples include but are not limited to: speaking in a or thinking in a disorganized way, withdrawing from society, paranoid feelings), please seek professional help as soon as possible.  With treatment, people with psychotic illness can and do get better.  Early treatment is very important: Research suggests that the sooner treatment of a psychotic illness begins, the better the chances of a faster and more complete recovery.

FIRST Lucas & Wood Counties, a comprehensive, evidence based treatment program for individuals who have had a first episode of a psychotic illness, can help.  For additional information or to inquire about services contact 567-686-4729 .

FIRST is a specialized treatment program that helps individuals who are:

  • between 15-40 years of age;
  • diagnosed with schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, schizophreniform disorder or other specified/unspecified schizophrenia spectrum and other psychotic disorder;
  • experiencing no more than 18 months of untreated psychosis;
  • recipients of not more than 18 months of prior cumulative treatment with antipsychotic medications;
  • willing to consent to treatment that includes, but is not limited to, counseling, psychiatric care, supported employment/education, family psychoeducation and case management.

The FIRST Lucas & Wood Counties team members work together to provide treatment, information and support to clients and their families and significant others.  The program provides support and education for not only the client but for their family in order to improve recovery, set future goals and reduce chances of relapse.

FIRST Lucas & Wood Counties clients must also be willing to participate in at least two of the following treatment components: individual counseling, psychiatric care, supported employment/education, family psychoeducation and case management.

Individual Counseling:

  • Helps with goal setting
  • Educates individuals about their illness
  • Develops the ability to bounce back
  • Deals with stigma and negative feelings
  • Copes with symptoms
  • Prevents a relapse of symptoms
  • Discusses substance use
  • Educates about a healthy lifestyle
  • Helps to maintain and develop relationships
  • Helps client to relax and have fun

Psychiatric Care:

  • Psychiatric evaluation
  • Medication management of symptoms
  • Shared decision-making
  • Safest and most effective medications available

Supported Employment/Education:

  • Rapid placement in the workforce
  • Assistance with educational goals
  • On-the-job follow along services
  • Advocacy

 Family Psychoeducation:

  • Teaches family members/supporters about symptoms
  • Improves communication
  • Improves problem solving
  • Builds support and understanding within the family

Case Management:

  • Assistance in gaining greater independence
  • Linking to community resources
  • Help navigating systems
  • Help accessing and acquiring services

New Resources Page for First Episode Psychosis - Capitol Connector

FIRST Lucas & Wood Counties Partners

 Best Practices in Schizophrenia Treatment (BeST) Center

Promoting Innovation. Restoring Lives.


Integrated care is the coordination of general and behavioral health care needs in an effort to treat not just the body but the mind.


The Lovell Foundation of Toledo Community Foundation Awards Grant to Zepf Center

The Board of Trustees of the Toledo Community Foundation has approved a grant from the David C. and Lura M. Lovell Foundation to Zepf Center in the amount of $31,300. These funds will be used to support the Mosaic Art Project, which utilizes art as a vehicle to connect with people living with mental illness and reduce the stigma of mental illness in our community. 


Behavioral Health Crisis Survey for MHRSB of Lucas County

The Mental Health & Recovery Services Board (MHRSB) of Lucas County is seeking input from stakeholders to understand the function and quality of behavioral health crisis services in Lucas County, including crisis call lines, mobile crisis teams, psychiatric urgent care centers, peer respite centers, crisis stabilization units, and psychiatric hospitals.



Zepf Centerís Staff Overwhelmingly Ratify Contract

Zepf Center is pleased to announce the staff represented by Service Employees International Union 1199 (SEIU), overwhelmingly ratified a three-year collective bargaining agreement on June 19, 2019. The agreement merges two bargaining units and unifies the mental health and substance use disorder sides of Zepf Center under one contract.