NOVA First Episode Psychosis Program

NOVA First Episode Psychosis Program
956 Montclair Rd.
Birmingham, AL 35213
205.206.4870 Office
205.949.2965 Fax



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The NOVA-Birmingham First Episode Psychosis Program (NOVA) is an evidence-based specialty care program focusing on intervention for young people experiencing their first episode of psychosis. NOVA is a two- year, transitional, outpatient program committed to empowering youth and young adults while providing compassionate and comprehensive treatment. NOVA works to keep young people in their community, on their typical developmental path, while addressing the unique needs and goals of the individual. Evidence-based research shows that early identification and treatment of psychosis can modify and permanently alter the course of psychosis. Early intervention and full inclusion in school and or employment predicts long term recovery and decreases long term disability.

Who Should Be Referred?

Individuals experiencing new, significant and/or worsening symptoms within the past 12 months. Including the following:

  • Individuals experiencing acute symptoms of psychosis: hallucinations (seeing & hearing things others don’t); delusions (bizarre beliefs); and disturbance to speech, emotional expression & movement. Onset of these symptoms usually occurs gradually.

  • Individuals experiencing new, significant and worsening difficulties in several of the following areas:

1.  Reduced Performance: Changes in school performance, trouble reading or understanding sentences, trouble speaking or understanding others, trouble in sports or other activities that use to be easy.

2.  Behavior changes: Extreme fear with no apparent reason, unexplained changes in sleep, appetite and concentration, decline in functioning, change in appearance & hygiene withdrawal, social isolation, actions and statements that make no sense, inability to filter information, impulsive, recklessness, new bizarre beliefs, disorganized communication.

3.  Perceptual Changes: Fear others are trying to hurt them, thinking they are gifted or have special abilities (super powers), heightened sensitivity to sounds, making statements like, “My mind is playing tricks on me”, hearing voices or sounds others do not, reporting visual changes (colors are more intense, faces are distorted), racing thoughts, feelings others are putting thoughts into their brains, believing others are reading their thoughts.

Referral Guidelines  

  • Ages between 15-25 years with exceptions outside this range depending on the case
  • Duration of symptoms of psychosis within the past 12 months (not caused solely by medical conditions, trauma, drug/alcohol use, and absence of intellectual disability)
  • Resides in service area of Jefferson County.

You can make a referral at and/or call 205.206.4870. 

JBS Mental Health Authority
940 Montclair Rd.
Birmingham AL 35213

205.595.4555 Office
205.592.3539 Fax

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JBS Mental Health Authority is a participating facility in the National Health Service Corps. No one will be denied access to the services we provide due to an inability to pay, and we use a discounted/sliding fee schedule to determine charges for each person.

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