Treating a family member or someone you know who may be experiencing a first episode of psychosis as early as possible is important – research shows early intervention and treatment can improve people’s long-term wellbeing.
Receiving appropriate and early treatment can have a significant impact on a person’s social, emotional, and vocational situation. A growing amount of research supports this positive impact.
There are dedicated Early Intervention in Psychosis (EIP) teams across London’s boroughs that help people experiencing a first episode of psychosis. Support is also available if this is not a first experience of psychosis, the charity Mind, has lots of information on their page.
For those who do receive treatment early and begin working with an EIP team:
- 35% are in employment, compared to 12% of people in traditional care
- The likelihood of having to receive compulsory treatment reduces from 44% to 23% during the first two months of psychosis
- Incidence of suicide drops from 15% to 1%
- There is less chance of a repeat episode, or being detained under the Mental Health Act
Experiencing psychosis can be a difficult period. An early intervention approach has been shown to reduce the severity of symptoms alongside the chances of them returning, and significantly reduces the need to be seen in a hospital. The EIP team would look after you for the first three years after your first episode.
If someone you know is showing possible signs of psychosis, or you believe you may be experiencing psychosis yourself, then it is encouraged to see the GP (or CAMHS service if you’re under 18) straight away. The GP will make a referral for an assessment by the local mental health trust. If there are signs of first episode of psychosis, then the EIP team within your local area (NHS Trust) can begin the process of tailoring your support straight away. If you’re under 18, you can also make a self-referral through your local CAMHS service.
Who is in an Early Intervention in Psychosis (EIP) team?
We want to put you in touch with the people that can help you. Early intervention teams work in different ways to tailor support to your needs and help you through your first experience of psychosis. The team can include:
- Psychiatrists – a doctor who specialises in mental health
- Psychologists – someone who specialises in how people’s thoughts and feelings affect their behaviour
- community mental health nurses – a mental health nurse that works in your local area, who can help with managing treatment and your health
- social workers – trained to help with social needs such as housing, financial and general support
- support workers – support you on a daily basis, within your area
Early intervention helps the NHS save money
Only 65% of people with psychosis is receiving treatment. Not only does earlier treatment help the person with psychosis feel better and reduce the chance of experiencing psychosis again, there are also benefits for the NHS.
The NHS could save £44 million a year if everybody experiencing psychosis received early treatment – that money could be reinvested into providing more care for more people.