Rapid treatment of psychosis effective


EARLY TREATMENT for those with schizophrenia and other psychoses improves recovering times, a new report has found.

The report, launched yesterday by the Minister of State for Mental Health, Kathleen Lynch, evaluated the work of the Dublin and East Treatment and Early Care Team service (Detect), an early-intervention service for those with illnesses featuring psychosis, such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

The report found that, one year after using the treatment services of Detect, a service funded by the Hospitaller Order of St John of God and the HSE, 60 per cent of individuals who had experienced psychotic symptoms were “participating fully in society” and were either in paid employment or studying. Some 60 per cent were also meeting friends on a weekly basis.

The report also found that about a third of the people using the service had been treated successfully in the community without having to resort to more expensive inpatient care.

Ms Lynch said she was delighted that rapid access to care was “feasible and effective”. She warned, however, that the stigma attached to mental illness meant people were still reluctant to seek help quickly. “We need to change our attitudes and our thinking about mental health,” she said.

Niall Turner of Detect said treatment times for those using the service had been greatly improved. In the case of schizophrenia, he noted that treatment times had been reduced from “19 months in 2006 to nine months in 2011”.