The role of Early Intervention
Early Intervention in Psychosis (EIP) services help young people aged 14-35 to recover from a first episode of psychosis, and to gain a good quality of life. In the 17 years since Early Intervention in Psychosis (EIP) services were introduced across the UK over 10,000 people a year are now treated under the scheme.
Few services can match EIP for clinical and economic outcomes. There is a wealth of evidence which shows that early intervention significantly improves people’s prospects of recovery, and reduces the likelihood of them relapsing or taking their own life. Early intervention also offers valuable long-term savings to the NHS by reducing the dependence on other mental health services. People who have EIP support are more than 20% less likely to be legally detained in hospital under the Mental Health Act in the first two months of their illness.
Early Intervention in Psychosis (EIP) teams are the best model for offering early intervention to young people with psychosis. They take a holistic approach to supporting people aged between 14 and 35 to recover from a first episode of psychosis. That includes offering support from a wide range of health professionals, including psychiatrists, psychologists, community mental health nurses, social workers and support workers. This gives young people a better chance of experiencing a good quality of life. People who have EIP support are less likely to need other mental health services, such as expensive hospital care, which results in significant savings for the NHS. It also reduces the probability of someone being detained in hospital under the Mental Health Act from 44% to 23% in the first two months of psychosis.
“Early Intervention in Psychosis has been the most positive development in mental health services since the beginning of community care”
- The Schizophrenia Commission 2012”
Young people being treated for psychosis are vulnerable to developing side effects from antipsychotic medication, including rapid weight gain and changes to metabolism. Over time, these can lead to conditions like diabetes, heart disease and cancer, which puts young people at significant risk of dying 15-20 years younger than the general population. EIP teams offer young people support with managing their physical health which is rarely available to them from their GP or other mental health services.
EIP is not a luxury service, tens of thousands of young people rely on these services to get the support they need to recover and gain a good quality of life.
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