NCU’s Ryan Melton, Ph.D., LPC, ACS, director and assistant professor of clinical mental health counseling, is one of five mental health professionals in the world certified by Yale University’s PRIME Research Clinic to use and teach Structure Interview of Psychosis-risk Syndrome (SIPS) to diagnose a patient’s clinical high risk (CHR) for psychosis and cases of first-episode psychosis.
“Dr. Melton is a national expert on schizophrenia psychosis and was chosen by Yale from among the leading academics and clinicians in the world for certification in this break-through diagnostic protocol,” said Dennis Lindsay, D.Theol. NCU’s Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the Faculty. “We are pleased that he will train clinicians, mental health professionals and NCU Clinical Mental Health students to use SIPS to help people live their best lives.”
By diagnosing one or more of the three CHR syndromes: Attenuated Psychotic Syndrome, Brief Intermittent Syndrome, and Genetic Risk and Deterioration, SIPS is designed to predict the onset of psychosis even when it has never been present and if a patient has a current psychosis. SIPS is used with adults 18 to 45 years of age and adolescents, 12 to 17 years old.
“What makes SIPS unique is that it provides clinicians and patients the information needed to make an accurate diagnosis today and provides a better understanding about psychosis as a possible condition, with the goal being to prevent the onset of psychosis all together,” Melton said. “I am looking forward to offering the SIPS training to clinicians throughout the Western United States and beyond. ”
To be certified in SIPS, Melton was identified by researchers at Yale University’s PRIME Research Clinic as an expert in schizophrenia and then completed 100 SIPS assessments, passed five written clinical examinations based on patient presentations, passed an examination about the SPIS tool, submitted three videos conducting SIPS that were rated by SIPS’ authors to ensure he met the programs “gold standard” and completed SIPS training under the supervision of the SIPS authors.
“To be chosen for SIPS certification is an honor,” Melton said. “The training was challenging, but worth it when you consider that SIPS will help to improve the lives of those who may be at risk of psychosis.”
“The nationally recognized work that Dr. Melton is conducting is just one example of the significant academic research and teaching that NCU’s faculty does to create and gather the latest information to bring back to the classroom to share with our students,” Lindsay said. “Our faculty’s outstanding work on campus and off, provides students with an education grounded in wisdom, faith, and service.”