Adolescence and early adulthood can be a time of great change as new challenges emerge. It can also be a time when people start to experience psychiatric symptoms that are distressing or detrimental for relationships, work, or school. The sooner these symptoms receive treatment, the less likely they are to continue to affect someone’s life.
The Georgia Psychiatric Risk Evaluation Program (G-PREP) is a clinical assessment service within the University of Georgia Psychology Department. It is a place for people worried about recent changes in their thoughts, perceptions, and feelings. Our goal is to help identify psychiatric symptoms when they are first emerging, in hopes of preventing more serious long-term diagnoses from developing. As part of our research and doctoral training program in Clinical Psychology, we provide diagnostic and neuropsychological assessments to individuals exhibiting at-risk-mental-states. These evaluations are offered free of charge for individuals who participate in our research studies.
The Purpose of G-PREP is to offer assessment services that allow us to catch psychiatric symptoms when they first start, and monitor these symptoms over time to help prevent serious psychiatric conditions from developing.
We are also interested in developing a knowledge base for the prediction of future thought disorders in adolescents and young adults who have symptoms that signal the early stage of psychiatric conditions. To do this, we offer interested individuals the opportunity to participate in paid research studies. These studies try to understand how the brain changes over time in people who develop such conditions compared to those who do not.
Individuals who receive services at G-PREP have a wide range of concerns they may wish to discuss, such as unusual thoughts and perceptions, increased depression, social anxiety, and greater difficulty with work, school, friends and family.
Individuals who are experiencing difficulty functioning and who have a family member with a psychotic illness such as schizophrenia are also considered to be at risk and are encouraged to contact us.
Have you noticed some of these recent changes?
· Worrying that others are thinking bad things about you
· Thinking others want to harm you
· Being suspicious of others
· Feeling fearful and uneasy around others
Unusual Perceptual Experiences
· Hearing a voice talking or noises others may not notice
· Seeing shadow figures out of the corner of your eye
· Seeing, smelling, tasting, or feeling things on one’s body that others do not notice
· Heightened senses
· Thinking that you are not real, the world is not real, or life is a simulation
· Wondering if you can read people's minds or if they can read yours
· Having trouble figuring out what is real vs. imaginary
· Believing that the TV, radio, or computer is communicating directly with you
· Feeling like you can predict the future
Jumbled Thoughts and Confusion
· Trouble with focus and attention
· Difficulty reading, understanding long sentences
· Forgetting and getting lost
Decreased socialization, interest, and motivation
· Withdrawal from family & friends
· Less energy, motivation, drive
· Fewer pleasurable activities
We will conduct an initial screening interview to determine whether G-PREP services are appropriate. If they are not, we will provide a list of appropriate referrals.
Individuals experiencing difficulties within the scope of G-PREP will be scheduled for and evaluation that will take place within the UGA Psychology Department in Athens, GA.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, opportunities for online video-call appointments are also available and evaluation procedures can take place online.
All assessments are provided at no cost for individuals who participate in our research studies. In fact, research participants are compensated with monetary payment for completing these assessments.
Assessments are performed by doctoral students in the UGA Clinical psychology Ph.D. program and supervised a licensed clinical psychologist and UGA professor of Psychology, Dr. Gregory Strauss.
Assessments typically last 4-6 hours and can be scheduled across multiple days if needed
During the evaluation, we will conduct an interview to understand your recent experiences and evaluate the presence of psychiatric symptoms. We will also ask you to complete some paper-pencil neuropsychological tests that look at thinking abilities like attention, memory, and learning.
We will then write-up a formal report
Finally, we will meet with you within a few weeks of the evaluation to review results of the evaluation, provide feedback, and any suggestions for treatment or managing symptoms and distress
We can also consult with your healthcare providers and hold a feedback session with professionals making a referral. We welcome the opportunity to provide a free diagnostic and neuropsychological report to healthcare providers who refer individuals to us for research studies. For more information about ongoing studies and how to become involved or refer someone to become involved, please see the participate page on our website.
For more information or to make a referral, please contact Dr. Strauss at:
Call/Text: (470) 518-0742
Ask for G-PREP!