Early Intervention in Psychosis

Why is this a priority?

Early Intervention in Psychosis (EIP) is highlighted as a priority in the Mental Health Strategy (2017-2027) and Mental Health Transition and Recovery Plan (2020). In recognition that this is a significant issue, Scottish Government commissioned us to undertake a detailed exploration of current Early Intervention in Psychosis (EIP) services across Scotland. Work commenced in 2019 and is summarised in our March 2021 report (PDF).

Approximately 1,600 people in Scotland experience a first episode of psychosis each year. During the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been an increase in the number of people presenting with a first episode of psychosis. Since the quarter January-March 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic began, the Esteem service in NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde has experienced an increase of 20-25% in caseload. This is consistent with the experience of specialist EIP services in England.

What have we learned?

We engaged with people with lived experience of psychosis, explored the evidence, conducted a needs assessment, and established a national network.

Evidence shows that intervening early with the right set of approaches delivered in the right way will lead to significantly improved outcomes for people. Our needs assessment highlighted that most services are not consistently delivering all of the core, evidence-based components of EIP.

Read the findings and recommendations in our report - available in plain text format or with graphics in PDF.

Personal reflections

Read about the first hand experiences of people with lived experience of psychosis and staff working in mental health.

Over 130 individuals from across Scotland share what a good early intervention for psychosis would look and feel like for them. Read the report we commissioned from Support in Mind.


As part of this work we completed an Equality Impact Assessment (EQIA) to ensure all our activities help promote equality, challenge discrimination and are accessible to all.  


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