Evolution of early psychosis intervention services in Singapore
Department of Early Psychosis Intervention, Institute of Mental Health, Singapore.East Asian archives of psychiatry : official journal of the Hong Kong College of Psychiatrists = Dong Ya jing shen ke xue zhi : Xianggang jing shen ke yi xue yuan qi kan 09/2012; 22(3):114-7.
The alarmingly long duration of untreated psychosis in Singapore and probable severe consequences were the impetus for establishing the Early Psychosis Intervention Programme in 2001. In 2007, the Early Psychosis Intervention Programme became a part of the National Mental Health Blueprint. This study analysed the Early Psychosis Intervention Programme's key outcomes according to the case management model, and shows how the programme has evolved and expanded into indicated prevention by establishment of the Support for Wellness Achievement Programme focusing on at-risk mental state. The Early Psychosis Intervention Programme has incorporated an evaluation component into the clinical programme by administering regular structured assessments and generating operational statistics from the hospital's data systems. Based on data analysis from a study on consecutive patients accepted into the Early Psychosis Intervention Programme over a 4-year period, we found that at the end of 2 years of follow-up, majority of patients (85%) scored ≥ 61 on Global Assessment of Functioning (GAF) disability scale, while two-thirds (66%) met criteria for functional remission, which was defined as having a GAF disability score of ≥ 61 with engagement in age-appropriate vocation (gainfully employed or studying). There was also a significant decrease in the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale for schizophrenia (t = 27.7, p < 0.05) and increase in GAF (t = 33.7, p < 0.05) mean scores from baseline at 2 years. As a national programme, the Early Psychosis Intervention Programme has articulated processes and outcome indicators to the stakeholders, and a periodic report card on these outcomes ensures accountability to the funders, patients, and their families.
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ABSTRACT: Mental ill health is now the most important health issue facing young people worldwide. It is the leading cause of disability in people aged 10–24 years, contributing 45% of the overall burden of disease in this age group. Despite their manifest need, young people have the lowest rates of access to mental health care, largely as a result of poor awareness and help-seeking, structural and cultural flaws within the existing care systems, and the failure of society to recognise the importance of this issue and invest in youth mental health. We outline the case for a specific youth mental health stream and describe the innovative service reforms in youth mental health in Australia, using them as an example of the processes that can guide the development and implementation of such a service stream. Early intervention with focus on the developmental period of greatest need and capacity to benefit, emerging adulthood, has the potential to greatly improve the mental health, wellbeing, productivity, and fulfilment of young people, and our wider society.