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EIP stands for Early Intervention in Psychosis. EIP services work to support you with your mental health and your future.

EIP services work to support you to manage and recover from unusual distressing experience, to feel more positive, and to reduce the chances of problems coming back.

Care co-ordinators and other mental health professionals in EIP services work in lots of different ways to support you with different aspects of life; medical, psychological, social and physical, helping you with work, college, family and friends, relationships, where you live, money, drugs, alcohol and health.

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EIP services offer support for 2 or 3 years, even if things get better after a few weeks. This is because sometimes unusual distressing experiences can come back. Getting the right support in the first few years is really important to give you the best chance of recovery and getting back on with your life.

My care-co-ordinator is really good at communicating and has patience and has the skills, is probably better equipped than, like a GP. She encounters psychosis on a day-to-day basis and she’s like, so brilliant at it and like, you know, anticipating how you’re gonna respond…

Sabah, aged 23

You should be invited to meet someone from EIP services within a week or two of someone contacting them. You can ask who you’re going to meet and where. If you don’t like the arrangement you can ask to meet someone or somewhere different: the service will try to help if it can. If someone else contacted EIP services on your behalf, you may be seen at home.

The EIP service will be able to give you a booklet which tells you more about the service and what they do. It may take a little while for someone to get to know you and to understand the problems you're having. Someone will try to give you the right advice and support as quickly as they can, and this will be written down in a 'care plan'.

 You should be invited to meet someone from EIP services within a week or two of contacting them. 
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You might be asked questions about yourself, your interests, your life, your relationships, your health, the things that you've been struggling with recently and things that are important to you. This will help to find out what might be most helpful for you. You might need to be patient and explain things a few times so that someone understand you fully.

The team will try to be open and honest with you, but if there’s anything you want to know or are concerned about, just ask. They will try to help.

You should be listened to, heard and treated with respect. Your perspective is important. So, if you don’t feel listened to and supported do tell someone. Most people find that they get on well with their care co-ordinator, but if there’s a problem you can ask to change and the team will help if they can.

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 Make sure to tell your care co-ordinator what is important to you - what your goals are and things you want to do 

Do tell your care co-ordinator what’s important to you. If you’ve got particular things you want to do in the next few months or years, like going to university, starting a new job, getting out more, do tell them. If there are things you especially like or don’t like about life or about the service do tell them. That way they can do the right things for you!

An EIP service works in an all-round way and this often includes working with family and friends, where this is helpful. This is because generally people are more likely to recover from psychosis more quickly if they have supportive family and friends around them.

The service can also advise and support family and close friends too, but you can tell them if there are people you don’t want them to talk to or things that you don't want them to share. They know it's important to respect your wishes.

Mental health professionals will keep things confidential if you ask them to.

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Friends and family members should expect an EIP service to:

  • Talk to them in general about mental health, psychosis, the role of the EIP service, the people who work in the service and the support and treatments that are on offer.
  • Listen to their concerns and talk to them in general about things they can do to help.
  • Support them in their role as a relative or friend. This might include speaking on the phone, meeting, inviting them to a carers’ group or offering a carers' assessment to support their own needs.
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If you are happy to share information with your friend or relatives, the EIP service can also:

  • Talk to them about the specific problems that you are experiencing and the specific supports and treatments that they are putting in place to help you.
  • Invite them to care plan and review meetings
  • Offer a family intervention where this is available and may be helpful