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Current & Past

Current Projects (2023 – ongoing)

We are excited to partner with Riverside University Health Services  Behavioral Health’s Help@Hand Innovation Program to bring the La CLAve message to Riverside County, especially within the Latinx community. La CLAve content will be available in the TakeMyHand mobile app and in behavioral health clinics throughout the western, mid-county, and desert regions of the County. We expect to train a number of facilitators to spread the La CLAve message and a few trainers who will be able to train future facilitators as needed.

In Mexico City, we are partnering with clinical investigators from the Instituto Nacional de Psiquiatría Ramón de la Fuente Muñiz to bring the important message of early treatment for serious mental illness to various communities within Mexico. The La CLAve media will be adapted and serve as public education resources for the public to help identify youth at high risk for severe mental health disorders. Whereas past La CLAve projects have addressed well-formed symptoms of mental illness, the goal of this current project is to focus on attenuated symptoms or those symptoms very early in the illness course.

Past Projects

With funding from the National Institute of Mental Health, the La CLAve team carried out and evaluated a two-year public outreach campaign (9/1/2015 thru 8/31/2017) in the San Fernando Valley partnering with multiple agencies, especially Olive View Medical Center’s Department of Psychiatry and the San Fernando Mental Health Center, a public Los Angeles County outpatient mental health clinic. The goal was to reduce the treatment delay in which persons with their first episode of a serious mental illness obtain mental health care (see Lopez et al., 2022 for the study’s main findings). One of the many contributions of this project was the development of a 15 minute narrative film that embodies the emotional challenges that families encounter in identifying and obtaining care for their loved ones. This film served as the heart of the public campaign. (Scroll down to Toolkit on this page or click here to go to the film.)

The La CLAve team also partnered with the Department of Behavioral Health within Kern County and Ventura County. With Kern County we developed an e-learning module for providers and community members to learn about La CLAve and launched radio spots to help the community cope with the stressors of COVID-19. In Ventura County we trained over 30 facilitators to deliver the evidenced-based La CLAve message as well as two trainers of facilitators. We developed training manuals that can be used to guide future trainings.

We welcome collaboration with other communities to help those in need obtain early treatment for serious mental illness.


La CLAve: Class video

Password for video: clave

Click on “CC” on video menu to view English subtitles

La CLAve: Movie

Password for video: clave

La CLAve: Sin Luz Workshop

Read a Summary

La CLAve: Live PowerPoint

Brief Videos to Assess Psychosis Literacy

Downloadable Resources


An important part of the La CLAve workshops and campaign is the evaluation of whether they lead to positive outcomes.

We first measure whether the workshops lead to increases in the participants’ knowledge of psychosis and their ability to recognize it in others. Second, we aim to evaluate whether a campaign leads to a reduction in the time it takes for people with serious mental illness to seek services. This can be assessed by clinical staff at the initial evaluation of new clients. In addition, an examination of administrative databases can serve as proxy measures of the duration of treatment delay.

In addition we want to learn the following:

(a) whether the campaign can improve the participants’ knowledge of serious mental illness,

(b) what are the factors that help or hinder people seeking services, and

(c) does early help-seeking lead to people with serious mental illness function better than those people who seek help late in their illness.

If the campaign is found to reduce the time to treatment then the campaign could be used in other communities.

Relevant Publications

Srihari, V. H., Ferrara, M., Li, F., Kline, E., Gülöksüz, S., Pollard, J. M., Cahill, J. D., Mathis, W. S., Sykes, L. Y., Walsh, B. C., McDermott, G., Seidman, L. J., Gueorguieva, R., Woods, S. W., Tek, C., & Keshavan, M. S. (2022). Reducing the duration of untreated psychosis (DUP) in a US community: A quasi-experimental trial. Schizophrenia Bulletin Open, 3(1), sgab057.

Jorm, A. F. (2012). Mental health literacy: Empowering the community to take action for better mental health. American Psychologist, 67, 231-243.

Joa, I., Johannessen, J. O., Auestad, B., Friis, S., McGlashan, T. Melle, I., et al (2008). The key to reducing duration of untreated first psychosis: Information campaigns. Schizophrenia Bulletin, 34, 466-472.

Marshall, M., Lewis, S., et al. (2005). Association between duration of untreated psychosis and outcome in cohorts of first-episode patients: A systematic review. Archives of General Psychiatry, 62, 975-983.

Melle, I., Larsen, T. K., et al. (2004). Reducing the duration of untreated first-episode psychosis: Effects on clinical presentation. Archives of General Psychiatry, 61, 143-150.

Norman, R. M. G., & Malla, A. K. (2001). Duration of untreated psychosis: A critical examination of the concept and its importance. Psychological Medicine, 31, 381-400.



Research Team

Domínguez-Martínez, T., Sheinbaum, T., Fresán, A., Nieto, L., López, S. R., Robles, R., Lara, M. del C., de la Fuente-Sandoval, C., Barrantes-Vidal, N., Saracco, R., Franco-Paredes, K., Díaz-Reséndiz, F., & Rosel, M. (2023). Psychosocial factors associated with the risk of developing psychosis in a Mexican general population sample. Frontiers Psychiatry. Online publication February 16, 2023. [PDF]

Kopelowicz, A., Lopez, S. R., Molina, G. B., Baron, M., Franco, R., & Mayer, D. (2023). Evaluation of an audio-visual novela to improve COVID-19 knowledge and safe practices among Spanish-speaking individuals with schizophrenia. Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health. Online publication February 4, 2023. [PDF]

Lopez, S. R., Kopelowicz, A., Ullman, J., Mayer, D., Santos, M. M., Kratzer, M., Vega, W. A., Barrio, C., & Calderon, V. (2022). Towards reducing the duration of untreated psychosis in a Latinx community. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, Advance online publication May 19, 2022. [PDF]

Calderon, V., Cain, R., Torres, E. & Lopez, S. R. (2021). Evaluating the message of an ongoing communication campaign to reduce the duration of untreated psychosis in a Latinx community in the United States. Early Intervention in Psychiatry. Published online March 25, 2021. [PDF]

Hernandez, M., Hernandez, M. Y., Lopez, D., Barrio, C., Gamez, D., & Lopez, S. R. (2019). Family processes and duration of untreated psychosis among US Latinos. Early Intervention in Psychiatry, Published online: 15 January 2019. [PDF]

Lopez, S.R., Gamez, D., Mejia, Y., Calderon, V., Lopez, D., Ullman, J., & Kopelowicz, A. (2018). Psychosis literacy of U.S. Latinos with first episode psychosis and their caregivers. Psychiatric Services, Published online: 17 September 2018. [PDF]

Hernandez, M., Franco, R., Kopelowicz, A., Hernandez, M. Y., Mejia, Y., Barrio, C., & Lopez, S. R. (2018). Lessons learned in clinical research recruitment of immigrants and minority group members with first-episode psychosis. Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health, 21, 123-128. Published online: 24 January 2018. [PDF]

Hernandez, M. Y., Mejia, Y., Mayer, D., & Lopez, S. R. (2016). Using a Narrative Film to Increase Knowledge and Interpersonal Communication About Psychosis Among Latinos. Journal of Health Communication, 21 (12), 1236–1243. Published online November 18, 2016. [PDF]

Calderon, V., Mejia, Y., Lara-Muñoz, M. C., et al. (2014). Towards the sustainability of information campaigns: Training promotores to increase the psychosis literacy of Spanish-speaking. Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology. [PDF]

Casas, R., Gonzales, E., Aldana-Aragón, E., et al. (2014). Toward the early recognition of psychosis among Spanish-speaking adults on both sides of the US-Mexico border. Psychological Services, 2014 Nov; 11 (4):460-469. [PDF]

Lopez, S. R., Barrio, C., Kopelowicz, A., & Vega, W. A. (2012). From documenting to eliminating disparities in mental health care for Latinos. American Psychologist, 67(7):511-523. [PDF]

Lopez, S. R., Lara, M. C., Kopelowicz, A., Solano, S., Foncerrada, H., & Aguilera, A. (2009). La CLAve to increase psychosis literacy of Spanish-speaking community residents and family caregivers. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 77, 763-774. [PDF]