McLean OnTrack™

Treatment for first episode psychosis and related symptoms. Call us today to talk to our admission staff.

McLean OnTrackTM provides the best possible care for young adults in the early stages of psychotic disorders. We understand that experiencing psychosis, especially first episode psychosis, can be a period of great uncertainty and hardship for patients and their families.

Our outpatient program specializes in treatment for young adults ages 18 to 30 who have had their first episode of psychosis during the previous year.

The years immediately following the onset of psychosis represent an important period in the illness course, and proper intervention during this time is critical for good long-term results.

For more information about McLean OnTrack or to make a referral, please call us at 617.855.3445.

Our program is best suited to individuals who are:

  • Experiencing the early stages of psychosis after a recent first episode of psychosis
  • Struggling with psychosis due to primary psychotic disorders or mood disorders
  • Seeking early intervention and personalized outpatient treatment

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Our two-year outpatient program provides individualized care with the specific aim of improving functioning.

By focusing on the unique experiences of each of our patients, we strive to find a common language to discuss struggles and to find a path forward. Therefore, each treatment plan is tailored to meet the specific needs of the individual.

While the early stages of treatment may require frequent visits and medication changes, the frequency and intensity of treatment typically decrease as the patient’s level of functioning improves over the course of the two years.

The program is covered by most insurance providers and also has a one-time self-pay component for services that are not covered by insurance. Out-of-pocket expenses should not be a barrier to treatment, and financial aid is available for those with economic need.

An important part of our mission is to work toward developing effective treatments by conducting scientific research. We provide the opportunity for patients to voluntarily participate in research studies aimed at understanding the biological processes underlying psychosis and the development of effective treatment.

The primary goal of our clinical care and research is to work toward functional recovery and to steer the path of each individual’s life in a positive direction.

McLean OnTrack is located on McLean’s Belmont campus on the ground floor of the Admissions Building. Our multidisciplinary staff is dedicated to providing high-quality care and conducting cutting-edge research to improve the lives of patients experiencing first episode psychosis.

For those seeking treatment for youths at risk for developing severe mental illness, please consider our Support, Treatment, and Resilience (STAR) Program.


WellSpace provides free, therapeutic, recreational, and educational groups for young adults ages 18-30 who have had psychosis. The team is devoted to providing fun and interesting activities to foster positive social interactions and movement in recovery.

Treatment Approach

Psychotic episodes can create major disruptions in work, school, and relationships. Individuals affected by psychosis may worry that they will fall behind their peers, will not be able to accomplish their long-term goals, and will not return to the lives they had prior to the onset of their episode.

The initial years following the first episode of psychosis is the period when the greatest impact can be made to change the path of the illness and recovery to reduce the risk of long-term disability.

At McLean OnTrackTM, we believe that empowering young people to act as primary and active stakeholders in their own care will improve their chances for a strong and sustained recovery. The program name “OnTrack” underscores our emphasis on functional recovery and our model of shared decision-making.

Since the course of illness can vary in the early stages, treatment plans are formulated around the evolving needs of each patient, incorporating best practices for the treatment of first episode psychosis.

Intensity and combination of treatment approaches are tailored based on individual circumstances. Frequency of outpatient visits varies from patient to patient, but sessions are typically weekly in the early phase, and decrease over time as individuals get back on their feet and resume their usual activities.

Group therapy

McLean OnTrack offers specialty outpatient services for individuals experiencing first episode psychosis

The program offers individual and group therapy, family support programs, medication treatment, peer counseling, and case management services. Patients also benefit from services throughout McLean, including care and education resources and neurological and medical consultations.

We carefully weigh the risks and benefits of each treatment for each patient, including use of medications. Medication counseling and management is guided by the principle that treating symptoms does not always equate with functional recovery.

Instead, we engage young people in the process of creating meaning in their lives by using multiple therapeutic approaches in addition to the traditional approaches.

Our goal is to work with each patient to prevent further life disruptions, restore a person’s functioning, and help individuals and families regain their sense of control. The program offers support for family members and caregivers and incorporates them as an essential part of the treatment team, providing guidance, support, and education, both individually and in a group setting.

“OnTrack helps me feel like I’m not alone. The staff were warm and supportive during a difficult time for me and my family.”– Former patient

Admission & Cost


McLean OnTrack is suitable for adults ages 18 to 30 who have experienced a first episode of psychosis within the past 12 months.

For further information about the program or to make a referral, please contact:

Phone: 617.855.3445
Email: @email

Referral Forms

Prior to admission, we review prospective patients to determine whether the program is a good fit for the individual. Patients can fill out the Patient Referral Form. Alternatively, family members, friends, or clinicians can submit the Community/Clinician Referral Form. Once one of these forms is received, we will respond by mail within 5-7 business days.

Please be sure to fill out the form in full, as only completed referral forms are reviewed.


McLean OnTrack is covered by most insurance providers. There is also a one-time self-pay fee of $1,000 for services that are not covered by insurance. This out-of-pocket expense should not be a barrier to treatment, and therefore, we provide financial aid on a sliding scale for those who qualify based on economic need.

McLean Hospital accepts Medicare, Massachusetts Medicaid, and many private insurance and managed care plans. More information on insurance providers accepted by McLean Hospital may be found on the Mass General Brigham website. You may also find it beneficial to review McLean’s patient billing and financial assistance information.

Treatment Team

Program Leadership

Photo of Allison Nelson-Eliot, MSW, LICSW

Allison Nelson-Eliot, MSW, LICSW, Program Director

A licensed social worker since 1998, Ms. Nelson-Eliot joined the McLean staff in 2012. Prior to coming on board as a clinician at McLean OnTrack in 2017, Ms. Nelson-Eliot worked as a clinical social worker in the Schizophrenia and Bipolar Disorder Inpatient Program and in other administrative roles at McLean.

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Rakesh Karmacharya, MD, PhD, Medical Director

Dr. Karmacharya is an associate professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. He is a physician-scientist with expertise in the treatment of psychotic disorders. Author of numerous journal articles, his research focuses on using patient-derived stem cells to investigate the cellular-molecular underpinnings of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, and to develop novel therapies through the application of chemical biology approaches.

Joseph Stoklosa, MD

Joseph Stoklosa, MD, Clinical Director, Division of Psychotic Disorders

Dr. Stoklosa is also the assistant program director for the MGH/McLean Adult Psychiatry Residency Training Program. He is actively involved in educational research and founded the Clinician Educator Program for the MGH/McLean residency program. Dr. Stoklosa also developed the Schizophrenia and Bipolar Disorder Inpatient Program’s clinical care model, which is focused on improving the use of evidence-based treatment.

Staff and Associates

Our multidisciplinary staff includes board-certified psychiatrists and psychologists, residents in the MGH-McLean Psychiatry Residency Training Programs, licensed clinical social workers, and a peer counselor.

The team works to build trusting and collaborative relationships with patients and family members in a caring and supportive environment.

McLean OnTrackTM operates within the Division of Psychotic Disorders, led by Dost Öngür, MD, PhD.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where is McLean OnTrack located?

The program is located on the Belmont campus, in the Admissions Building. For more information on directions, parking, and local accommodations, please visit our Maps & Directions page.

Who benefits most from the program?

Our outpatient program focuses on treating adults, ages 18 to 30, who are recently experiencing the very first onset of psychotic symptoms.

Is family involved in treatment?

Family involvement in their loved one’s treatment is strongly encouraged. We offer individual and group support for family members.

Is smoking permitted?

Smoking is allowed in designated outdoor areas only. No smoking is allowed inside any of our buildings.

Are cell phones allowed?

Cell phone use is strongly discouraged during treatment and in the waiting room to prevent disruption of the program and others.

Can McLean OnTrack help me return to college?

A particular strength of the OnTrack program is its close partnership with the McLean Hospital College Mental Health Program, whose mission is to work closely with college students with mental illness and adjustment issues, their families, and their institutions of higher education to ensure the greatest probability of academic success.

Can former patients access their medical records?

All requests for medical records should be directed to McLean’s Health Information Management Department.