HSE launches National Model of Care for Early Intervention in Psychosis

HSE Press Release: Wednesday, 12th June 2019

Psychosis affects approximately 3% of the population in their lifetime and for the majority this illness commences during adolescence and early adulthood

Minister of State for Mental Health and Older People Mr Jim Daly, TD, today (Wednesday 12th June), launched a new Model of Care to improve services for those who experience psychosis in Ireland.


Developed in collaboration with the College of Psychiatrists of Ireland, the Model of Care provides the blueprint for the development of early intervention in psychosis services nationally for everyone (aged 14 to 64 years) who develops psychosis for the first time. The aims are to improve access to services and provide the highest quality of care and treatment based on best international practice.


A first episode of psychosis occurs when a person experiences moderately severe distressing and disabling psychotic symptoms, (such as hallucinations, delusions and thought disorder), for at least seven consecutive days. This is most often associated with a functional psychotic disorder such as schizophrenia, a mood disorder with psychotic symptoms or a drug induced psychosis. For many young people this first episode is often followed by a lifetime of further episodes of psychosis with deteriorating mental health and suffering that could be prevented if their illness was identified and treated earlier with interventions maintained over a sustained period of time.


Some of the benefits of this new model of care include; faster access to assessment, early intervention by multidisciplinary teams and a dedicated Early Intervention in Psychosis (EIP) key worker to support the service user and family throughout the 3 years of their engagement with the EIP programme. 


Speaking at the launch of the Model of Care this afternoon, Minister Jim Daly said: 

"I would like to extend a warm thank you to the invaluable work of the HSE, the College of Psychiatrists of Ireland and their various professional and community partners in the development and launch of the Model of Care for Early Intervention in Psychosis. I was delighted to launch the Model of Care today, and the launch of one of the three national demonstration sites in Cork last month. Meeting with healthcare professionals and service users here today, I am reminded of just how important this service is in improving outcomes for service users and their families and support networks. There is large, growing body of evidence that suggests early intervention in psychosis can significantly reduce suffering, improve recovery and reduce relapse. With the Model of Care launch here today, I hope this service will deliver on these outcomes."

Dr Siobhan Ni Bhriain, HSE’s National Clinical Advisor and Group Lead for Mental Health welcomes the focus on early intervention for service users:

“People can and do recover from psychosis and specialist evidence based treatment is associated with better recovery. The focus on early intervention to achieve clinical and personal recovery in this relatively young group is key to person centred care and the future of mental health service delivery into the future. We are now seeing a programmatic approach to specialised care for those attending mental health services with psychosis which is an important development. Family involvement in treatment is particularly important.”


Mr John Meehan, National Director, HSE Mental Health Community Strategy & Head of National Office for Suicide Prevention (NOSP) highlighted the importance integrated care across mental health, physical health care and other departments that support employment and education:

“A big thank you to everyone involved in the development of this Model of Care which recognises that for timely and adequate recovery of an individual with psychosis, bridging the gap between mental health services and physical health care as well as community services in employment and education through person centred coordinated care is crucial. This model of care was developed with that rounded vision and much is to be said for the hard work, collaborative and consultative work that went into its development” 




Last updated on: 12 / 06 / 2019