New York ‘Parachute’ programme for people with acute mental distress lands in the UK

Established in early 2013 by the New York Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH), the Parachute programme’s approach is “open dialogue”, in which a team of therapists and social workers encourage patients and their families to develop their own route to achieving recovery. Practitioners say the approach rejects hierarchy, encouraging equal and open dialogue between everyone in the group. It isn’t about getting “better”, but learning to live with acute distress and developing ways of managing it.

Open dialogue was developed in the 1980s in western Lapland by the Finnish psychologist Jaakko Seikkula. Within a few years, this remote area of northern Europe went from experiencing one of the worst incidence rates of schizophrenia in Europe to having the best documented therapeutic outcomes in the western world. One study showed that after two years of starting therapy more than 80% of participants had no noticeable psychotic symptoms.

The Parachute NYC programme is the first time open dialogue has been implemented in a major urban environment. In addition, it has pioneered peer support as part of the mix. Peer mentors help create a shared experience, says Leslie Nelson, 52, who works as a full-time paid peer in one of Parachute’s mobile open dialogue teams. “It’s just an amazing process for so many of us. Because the person locks on to you. They ask me: ‘You were like this?’ They can’t believe where I am now and they’re inspired by that.”

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If anyone tries this out - please report back on if you find it helpful or not:

Crisis Respite Centers Mobile Treatment Teams Support Line

What is Parachute NYC?
Parachute NYC provides alternatives to hospitalization for people experiencing emotional crises. Parachute NYC offers free, community-based options that focus on overall wellness, recovery, and hope. It is largely driven by peers - who themselves have had their own experiences with the mental health system.
In addition to home-based treatment, Parachute NYC offers crisis respite centers where people can stay overnight in a calm, open, and supportive environment. A Support Line (646-741-HOPE) is also available for those experiencing emotional distress.

Services are available in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Queens to New Yorkers ages 18 to 65. In Brooklyn, home-based treatment services are available to people ages 16 to 30. Staten Island residents ages 18 to 65 can seek services in Manhattan. .

More info here:

A video on the US New York program:

This probably is not available all over Uk. I don’t think this is in my borough

No - it’s being piloted - same with Soteria & other more comprehensive psychological/social alternatives.

A long track record of these alternatives being squashed - so i wouldn’t hold your breath.


NHS trusts in Kent and Medway, Nottingham, North East London and North Essex are planning to launch a £500,000 pilot next year.

They are testing them out. There has not been much research on them before - basically they are very expensive to operate and they don’t seem to “do much” from a therapeutic standpoint (in terms of proven therapies) - - so that is why there has not been much interest in them.

And we have people who have participated in Soteria before and have said it was a nightmare - so be careful with Apotheosis’s opinions - they are extremely biased in being anti-proven treatment.

See here on Soteria:

Very debatable.

With respect -

Your just parroting the ‘official’ big pharma/biomedical psychiatric line.

There’s vast reams of research on more in depth psychological/social approaches. There’s been huge interest in alternatives over the centuries.

Soteria, CooperRiis, Diabasis House, the Open Dialogue or the sanctuary as well as many others - from moral treatment & other approaches - there is over a 400 year history to this area. You (& the establishment) say Nay, me & many others say Yay. Who is right? i don’t think it’s as clear cut/established as you say it is.

I’m all for CooperRiis types of places - they provide a great program:

but they are hugely expensive - and really only for the 1% of the wealthiest population…

“We expect that each resident or his or her, parents or guardian or spouse will pay our standard program fee of $15,500 per month”

Sure - in an ideal world every person with schizophrenia would get this type of treatment level. But is that realistic. Not in this world.

You can either deal with world as it is, or as you wish it were. I tend to think you need to recognize that people and governments have financial limitations.

Soteria was just a random place for people to hang out and get abused (from what people who went there say), and all the others are really unproven.

It comes down to research and repeatability and financial viability.

Not a very nice thing to say - i think i have a very balanced view on all these areas. i’m Not opposed to a more comprehensive psychiatry & potential wise use of medication - & feel that is necessary in some cases. i take medication.

When you say things like this:

And its so inaccurate - it shows your bias.

moving on…

& there is huge expense involved in carrying on with the current paradigm, with massive social & monetary costs. Whitaker has rationally pointed out a lot of the horrors of it all.

i very much deal with this World as it is - Doesn’t mean that i have to agree with it all.

[quote]Soteria was just a random place for people to hang out and get abused (from what people who went there say), and all the others are really unproven.

There are some very different reports of Soteria/Diabasis/i-ward & others - it’s Not all what you present. Sure - there are issues - as if there aren’t issues with the current system! Give me strength.

My bias is to properly helping people. Not blanket/mass drugging of society.

80% of Americans - 50% of the UK on permanent prescribed drugs (all medications/Not just psych) - & that’s sane & healthy! lol.

What’s the Global profit from sale of pharmaceuticals? It’s over 200 Billion Dollars - Cheap, Great value for money. :smile:

MIA’s Article on all this -

Results of a large government-funded study call into question current drug heavy approaches to treating people diagnosed with schizophrenia. The study, which the New York Times called “by far the most rigorous trial to date conducted in the United States,” found that patients who received smaller doses of antipsychotic drugs with individual talk therapy, family training, and support for employment and education had a greater reduction in symptoms as well as increases in quality of life, and participation in work and school than those receiving the current standard of care.