Early intervention

Economic and clinical benefits have been demonstrated for early intervention services for psychosis19 and are recommended by National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE).

  • The Duration of Untreated Psychosis (DUP) can be reduced by measures which include early intervention teams and mental health promotion campaigns20.
  • Length of DUP correlates negatively with severity of illness, treatment response and health and social outcomes.  Reduction can be expected to have long-term benefits in terms of cost and health gain including recovery21.
  • EIP services have a number of key features beyond the early detection of psychosis including a strong recovery oriented psychosocial approach, a focus on the unique needs of younger adults, an emphasis on family support, and attention to the impact of interrupted development and the social consequences of serious mental illness.
  • First contact within mental health services through adult generic community mental health team or child and adolescent services predicts longer overall DUP and delayed access to early intervention in psychosis teams.
  • First contacts involving acute treatment facility or early intervention teams (EIT) predicted significantly shorter delays in accessing treatment which could reduce DUP to from 90 to 60 days22.
  • Maintenance of gains made with EIT may be lost with transfer to CMHTs or primary care23-25 – continuing engagement, support and psychosocial intervention needs to be considered.