Models of Care

Our experience is based on work carried out in the Early Psychosis Prevention and Intervention Centre (EPPIC) [37] in Melbourne, Victoria, as well as the work of many people around the world. The EPPIC catchment area has a total population of about 850,000, of whom 200,000 are aged 15 to 29 years, the period of peak onset of psychotic disorders. Development of a specialized service for a large catchment area is one approach to the provision of early psychosis services. An increasing number of such centres now exist around the world [1], and provide local examples of evidence-

based care of early psychosis. Some other Australian mental health services have established specialized sub-units to provide a focus on early psychosis, but in many services there is still no administrative or clinical structure specifically for this crucial group of patients [38].

Nevertheless, many of the principles of managing people with early psychosis may be applied regardless of the service structure that has been adopted, though a special focus and structure does make this more achievable and sustainable. They are based on recognizing the special characteristics of such patients and applying current standards of optimal care.

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