The trends toward deinstitutionalization and community care have increased the need for short-term residential programs, and the literature supports their effectiveness as an alternative to longer-term care. The authors describe an innovative short-term residential treatment program at Florida Mental Health Institute. Called the Early Intervention Project and limited to nine weeks, it uses a combination of behavioral and psychoeducational techniques for building skills in younger patients who have not received extensive prior treatment. It includes training modules in assertiveness, communication, problem-solving, managing anxiety and depression, medication, relaxation, and nutrition, and also incorporates a peer-managed token economy. A series of research studies have demonstrated the program's effectiveness in changing patient behavior.