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The Royal College of Psychiatrists Improving the lives of people with mental illness

Early Intervention Network

Early Intervention Network

What is early intervention (EI)?

The Early Intervention Network (EIN) was launched at the General and Community Faculty 2009 conference.


As early intervention services bed-down around the country and we learn more about meeting the clinical needs of young people with first episode psychotic disorders and their families a number of crucial areas of uncertainty have emerged.

NHS England has asked the College Centre for Quality Improvement (CCQI) to develop a quality improvement network for early intervention in psychosis teams

Find out about the Accreditation Network for Early Intervention in Psychosis Services »

These challenge many of our traditional precepts and practices: They include:


  • What outcomes should we aim for?
  • How should the considerable physical health care needs of those with psychotic illnesses best be met?
  • How best to work across our professional boundaries of adult and adolescent psychiatry when many patients are stuck, developmentally, at this boundary?
  • How to manage substance misuse and, in particular, the under-acknowledged and under-researched problem of cannabis dependence?
  • Should the concept and principles of early intervention – age-appropriate, specialist MDTs – be restricted to psychotic illness? Is this ethical? What about EI for depression, OCD and other anxiety disorders? Should we have EIP or just EI?
  • How early is early? Beware of confusing intervention in people thought to be at risk of psychosis with people who have an established psychotic illness.
  • How does EI with its emphasis on close observation of dynamic phenomena during the early phase of evolution of psychotic illness change our diagnostic boundaries and concepts?


The Faculty EI network, convened by Dr Savitha Eranti, will be a forum for exchange of ideas, debate and support.



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Members are encouraged to register their interest in the network by dropping an email to us so that we can begin work before the conference and official launch. We welcome debate on, but certainly not restricted to, the issues above, as well as questions, advice, support and simply networking for those involved in EI services.