Schizophrenia Program

At Massachusetts General Hospital, world-class researchers and caregivers work together to deepen our understanding of first-episode psychosis, schizophrenia and related disorders and to translate that understanding into compassionate, cutting-edge treatment for our patients.

Dr. David HendersonDavid Henderson, MD,
Director Schizophrenia Program

Expert Care from a Renowned Team

The Massachusetts General Hospital Schizophrenia Program offers comprehensive diagnostic evaluations, second opinion consultations and ongoing treatment for patients with schizophrenia.

Our work focuses on improving the quality of life for people with schizophrenia by controlling distressing psychotic symptoms, improving function in school, work, and relationships and promoting better health.

A Full Range of Treatment Options

The Schizophrenia Program is organized into three treatment areas.

Consultation Service

We provide second opinion consultations on medical options and cognitive behavioral approaches for patients who have not adequately responded to treatment. Consultations are typically conducted with patients and their families.

We also consult in smoking cessation, diabetes and weight management, psychosocial therapy and other psychosis-related issues.

First-episode and Early Psychosis Program (FEPP)

The FEPP program diagnoses, evaluates and treats individuals with first-episode or early psychosis, a vital time during which treatment can have the greatest effect.

Long-term treatment

We strive to improve long-term health and quality of life for schizophrenia patients though a multidisciplinary approach that stresses collaboration with community agencies. Patients receive care provided by Mass General clinicians in collaboration with the North Suffolk Mental Health Association.

A Top-Ranked Psychiatry Department

The Schizophrenia Program is part of the Massachusetts General Hospital Department of Psychiatry. For its exceptional results in patient care, the Mass General Department of Psychiatry has consistently earned top rankings in psychiatry every year since 1996 in the annual “America’s Best Hospitals” survey by US News & World Report.

Pioneering Research

Many of the clinicians who treat schizophrenia patients at Mass General are also researchers studying the underlying neurobiology of the illness. This unique combination of clinical care and research has led to major advances in the treatment of schizophrenia.

The Mass General Schizophrenia Program was among the first to:

  • Apply new imaging technology to the study of schizophrenia
  • Develop treatments to promote neuroplasticity, the brain’s natural ability to recover
  • Explore the genetics and treatment of folate deficiency as a cause of apathy and cognitive deficits in patients
  • Develop therapies to halt progression early in the course of the illness
  • Develop interventions for smoking cessation and prevention of diabetes in patients with schizophrenia
  • Apply studies of cognitive behavioral treatments for psychosis

Our ongoing goals are to better understand the causes of schizophrenia and identify new treatment approaches. These efforts are concentrated in six areas:

Support and Education

At the core of our mission is educating families, physicians and the general public about schizophrenia and its treatment.

We involve families in care, providing guidance on how to identify symptoms and interact with loved ones diagnosed with schizophrenia.

Our doctors and researchers also travel widely to lecture to and train clinicians involved in treating the illness.

We believe that education about schizophrenia is critical for decreasing the stigma surrounding psychotic illness and improving access to care for those who suffer.