About the PIER Program

Letter from Sarah Lynch, Program Manager

Welcome to our website. We are thrilled to offer information and hope through the voices of graduates of our program. We believe that there are many paths to wellness and we hope that this site offers some examples of how our program collaborates with participants and families.
The PIER Program has been a leader in community education, research and family-inclusive treatment in early psychosis for the last 20 years. From 2000 to 2013, we were part of national research efforts in early identification of symptoms of psychosis and testing a family and community-based treatment approach across communities. In 2015, through a partnership with the state of Maine, we opened as a Coordinated Specialty Care (CSC) team offering both treatment and training.
Now that CSC is considered Evidence Based Practice in First Episode Psychosis, we are poised to train others throughout Maine so that these services will be more widely available. The PIER Program is housed in Adolescent Psychiatry at Maine Medical Center and is affiliated with our sister program, Resilience, in Adult Psychiatry. An integral aspect of our program is involving the voice of peers and families with lived experience in community outreach and engagement. We also have peer and family networks of support happening through our 5 multifamily groups.
We continue to be involved in research in early psychosis to better understand risk factors for psychosis and targeted treatment.
We urge you to give us feedback on the website and to fill out an information request form here. We welcome your questions.
Thank you for visiting our website.

~Sarah Lynch, LCSW

How does early intervention make a difference?

  • Facilitates more rapid and complete recovery
  • Enables progress toward life goals
  • Promotes engagement in school and/or work
  • Decreases need for intensive treatments
  • Maintained connections with supports
  • Reduces stigma

Community Education Through Lived Experience

The feedback from participants is that peer stories had the greatest impact in fostering their engagement in treatment. Personal stories offer different individualized examples of recovery and wellness to those seeking help. And young people in recovery benefit personally from the experience of directly helping others and give authentic voice to a misunderstood topic.

Engaging Community and Early Identification

For 20 years, PIER has interfaced with schools, medical and community-based service providers to promote earlier intervention for young people experiencing early psychosis. Outreach education paves the way for PIER to operate within an engaged community – one that is aware and informed of the benefits of early intervention, motivated to make a difference to end stigma, and collaborative in making services accessible to a wide range of cultures, identities and socio-economic backgrounds.

Request a Community Presentation

Community members (e.g., teachers, faith community leaders, pediatricians, etc.) are encouraged to request more information and/or a presentation from the PIER team.

Request a Community Presentation

Are you a clinical provider interested in PIER training?

PIER staff provides training in all aspects of coordinated specialty care. Including family education and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Psychosis (CBTp).

Request a training

PIER & Resilience Monthly Workshop

We have a monthly opportunity to meet (Over zoom for now) with young people and family members about their experiences with psychosis and what they found helpful. Please sign up here and receive a call back from our outreach and referral coordinator.

Request an invite


We are offering the a portion of the PIER/Resilience Community and Family Education workshop online. Click play to view.

Referrals for both PIER & Resilience go to:

Tan Twhigg
Outreach and Referral Coordinator for PIER/Resilience

ttwhigg@mainebehavioralhealthcare.org

(207) 662-3102

Maine Medical Center Research Institute
PIER Program

Maine Medical Center 66 Bramhall Street Portland, Maine 04102

The PIER Program is part of the Maine Medical Center Department of Psychiatry and Maine Medical Center Research Institute.
Funding for PIER comes from the Mental Health Block Grant through the Department of Health and Human Services.