Mental illness is perhaps the most common and most debilitating among non-communicable diseases. Schizophrenia, for example, normally occurs before the age of 25, affect the most productive years of life. The World Economic Forum graphically illustrates that mental illnesses will be a major contributor to the erosion of gross domestic product over the next 20 years. The developed world has established programs that have proven to be clinically and economically effective and sustainable. Early intervention has played an important role in demonstrating that outcome can be improved if patients are treated in the early phase of illness. It is believed to be potentially effective in arresting or delaying the progress of psychosis. In these programs, boundaries between hospital and community care overlap, and provide much needed continuous, convenient, and safe therapeutic environments. Criticisms of costeffectiveness and investments in program development are outweighed by the clinical benefi ts. These programs rely on an integration of a variety of facets tailored toward local culture, and specifi c needs are required. Although under evaluation, there needs to be a high degree of optimism and confi dence in developing these services. Developing EI programs in India and other low and middle income countries is challenging due to number of problems most important being available funding. Such programs in these countries need to be culture specifi c. EI of psychosis is a preventative program administered through community based treatments that are effective, feasible and successful. The future of schizophrenia care lies in early, patientcentric and economic treatment.
- Early intervention,
- programs. Services
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