Supports patients living with psychosis who have not responded well to previous treatments.

Psychosis treatment optimization program (PTOP) is a community program that works with people whose medication is not working well to treat their psychotic illness.

These individuals often continue to have symptoms such as hearing voices, believing people are trying to hurt them, and/or having trouble thinking and communicating even when on medication. These symptoms get in the way of the person's ability to have good relationships, work, or go to school.

About one-third of all individuals that have psychosis will not respond well to some antipsychotic medication. If a person does not respond well to two different antipsychotic medications, they are considered to be treatment resistant.

Psychosis treatment optimization program (PTOP) nurses work closely with the clinical team at the mental health centre, including psychiatrists, pharmacists, and a psychologist who work together with the individual to find new treatments that work better for them.


Treatment can include:

  • Community-Based Clozapine Starts
    In collaboration with a care provider, Psychosis treatment optimization program (PTOP) nurses facilitate community-based clozapine starts.
  • Clozapine monitoring
    One of the medications that may be suggested for individuals is clozapine. Clozapine is a very effective medication for treatment-resistant psychosis. This medication comes with a number of side effects, some of which can be serious. One serious but rare side effect can affect the body's ability to fight infections by lowering white blood cells. This side effect can be safely monitored with regular blood work and support from trained staff to monitor the individuals they work with closely. This service is available for as long as the individual is on clozapine. Common side effects may include drowsiness, low blood pressure, increased heart rate, weight gain, constipation and excessive drooling. These side effects can also be managed with the support of the individual's care team.
  • Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) for psychosis
    Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is a type of talk therapy where thoughts, feelings, and behaviours are explored. With psychosis, individuals may experience strange beliefs or may hear voices even while on medication. CBT targets these symptoms. Individuals will attend 15 to 20 weekly sessions with a trained CBT therapist.
  • Ongoing support for primary care providers
    Psychosis treatment optimization program (PTOP) provides ongoing support for family doctors and nurse practitioners in the community related to clozapine and hematological monitoring. Some examples of support provided are clozapine vendor registration updates and referrals to vendor specialists such as hematologist and cardiologist.  

See office locations below for contact information, each location serves the following areas:

  • Burnaby: Burnaby, New Westminster, Coquitlam
  • Delta: Delta, White Rock, South Surrey
  • Maple Ridge: Port Moody, Port Coquitlam, Pitt Meadows, Maple Ridge, Langley
  • Mission: Mission, Abbotsford, Chilliwack, Hope and Agassiz
  • Surrey: Surrey



Referrals are made through your family doctor or your psychiatrist. You can ask your psychiatrist or family doctor to make a referral for you to the PTOP program in your community.