Back from the Edge: Tiffany Martinez (PIER Program, Portland, Maine)

Tiffany Martinez was at college when she began to notice her mind "playing tricks" on her - and was lucky enough to get help from the PIER program

When Tiffany Martinez entered college, she began experiencing symptoms of psychosis. Through an RWJF-funded national program, she learned strategies for controlling her illness. Today, she is relatively symptom-free.

Dates of Project: August 2006 to May 2013

Description: The Early Detection and Intervention for the Prevention of Psychosis Program (EDIPPP) tested the effectiveness of a family-centered model of intervention across the United States in a large, ethnically and geographically diverse population. The goal was to demonstrate that intervening early with young people at high risk of psychosis could delay or prevent the development of extreme symptoms.

“When you develop schizophrenia, you drive off a cliff…. Imagine you could stop the process already underway.”—William R. McFarlane, MD, EDIPPP Program Director

Story Told: As a college freshman, Tiffany Martinez experienced early symptoms of psychosis. She entered the Portland Identification and Early Referral (PIER) program in Portland, Maine, where she learned strategies for regaining her health. Today she is relatively symptom-free, studying to be a psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner, and speaking out as an advocate for early intervention.

“I did feel constantly supported. I never felt judged. When you’re afraid to expose yourself—to be able to say those things without feeling judged is huge.”—Tiffany Martinez

Most Requested