Brown School researcher Leopoldo J. Cabassa is part of a team that has received a five-year, $2.9 million grant from the National Institute of Mental Health to study mental health intervention in Chile.


The project’s aim is to improve outcomes and care for people in Chile who experience first-episode psychosis (FEP). First episode psychosis refers to the first time someone experiences psychotic symptoms or a psychotic episode.

The goal of the project is to adapt OnTrackNY, an FEP care program currently being implemented across the U.S., for OnTrackChile, then to implement and evaluate OnTrackChile on a broad scale.

Other team members are Rubén Alvarado, Universidad de O’Higgins in Chile (principal investigator); Ezra S. Susser, Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health; and Lisa Dixon, New York State Psychiatric Institute. Dixon is the developer and director of OnTrackNY.

According to Cabassa, FEP programs have been widely and successfully implemented in high-income countries, but with the partial exception of Chile, not a single low- and middle-income country offers universal access to FEP services.