Identifying and monitoring youth at risk of a first psychotic episode

The Clinic for Assessment of Youth at Risk (CAYR) is a sub-program of PEPP-Montréal and accepts youth between 14 and 30 years of age who have never experienced a psychotic episode but who show signs of increased risk for developing psychosis. These signs include:

  • Subthreshold psychotic symptoms: Illusions, such as fleeting shadows, fleeting noises or voices; the feeling of somebody following or talking about the person, but without full conviction
  • Brief psychotic symptoms: True delusions (false beliefs or bizarre, paranoid or grandiose ideas) or hallucinations lasting fewer than seven days
  • A family history of psychosis with a decline in educational, professional and/or social functioning

Unfortunately, the clinic cannot accept people who:

  • Have taken an antipsychotic medication for more than seven days at one point in their lives. Examples: Risperidone (“Risperdal”), Olanzapine (“Zyprexa”), Quetiapine (“Seroquel”), Clozapine (“Clozaril”), Haloperidol (“Haldol”) etc.
  • Suffer from a neurological disorder, organic brain damage, epilepsy, mental retardation, or severe substance abuse

Identifying the risk and protective factors for psychosis

The goal of CAYR is to identify and thoroughly monitor symptoms and changes in functioning in young individuals who may be at high risk for developing psychosis. By studying risk and protective factors for the development of psychosis, researchers will better understand individuals’ vulnerability and/or resilience, which will help prevent psychotic episodes starting from the first warning signs.
CAYR research activities involve the following factors:

  • Psychosocial: stress perception, social support, self-esteem, coping skills, early life adversity
  • Biological: endocrinological assessment, brain structure and function
  • Cognitive assessment

CAYR services include:

  • Assessment
  • Teaching and support
  • Depression and anxiety medications
  • Cognitive behavioural therapy
  • Case management

In the event of a psychosis, CAYR patients can immediately access PEPP-Montréal care and services or may be referred to the appropriate services available in their region.

Consult the CAYR brochure


Marita Pruessner, PhD

Kia Faridi, MD
Mark Rabinovitch, MD

Neuropsychological assessment
Gina Marandola

Gina Marandola
Marita Pruessner
Barbara Szelest Van Dussen

Contact us

Clinic for Assessment of Youth at Risk (CAYR)
Douglas Institute
Wilson Pavilion
6875 LaSalle Boulevard
Montreal, Quebec H4H 1R3