The Lancashire Early Intervention Service (EIS) aims to help people who have experiences which are distressing and difficult to make sense of, which may lead to being at risk of psychosis for the first time, get the right help early and continue living the lives they want to lead.

The Lancashire EIS is for people aged between 14 and 64 years old who have recently been diagnosed with psychosis, and for people who are having unusual experiences or difficulties and who may develop symptoms of psychosis.

We aim to help people recover as quickly and as well as possible, particularly by offering help early.

We provide practical advice, support, information and help people develop a better understanding of their experiences. The team consists of experienced mental health practitioners including nurses, social workers, occupational therapists, psychological therapists, clinical psychologists, Support Time and Recovery workers (STR) and psychiatrists.

We understand that psychotic experiences can be distressing and confusing, both for the people who experience them and also for those around them, so we aim to give people the right help early, enabling people to understand and deal with these experiences effectively and ensuring that individuals can continue to live the lives they want to lead. We work hard to build supportive partnerships with the people we work with in a way that is respectful.

Early intervention teams work with people experiencing psychosis, or who might be considered at risk of developing psychosis and help them and their families to lead the lives that they want to live.

Early Intervention aims to promote an individual's recovery from psychosis by:

  • Promoting mental health
  • Encouraging social inclusion
  • Reducing stigma
  • Early detection of troubling experiences such as psychosis
  • Providing more effective treatment as early as possible.

The service is for people aged between 14 and 64 with the first presentation of psychotic experiences or those individuals who we suspect could be at risk of developing psychotic experiences. Individuals who have been treated for other difficulties, or who have previously experienced brief psychotic experiences, may also be referred for assessment by the team.

Early intervention is important because the longer difficulties are left untreated, the greater the disruption to a person, their life and other relationships. Early recognition and treatment of difficulties improves outcomes and reduces the impact on a person's life.

There are many reasons why a person might become involved with the Lancashire Early Intervention Service but the thing that they all share is that they or other people may be concerned that they are experiencing psychosis for the first time.

There are many reasons why a person might experience psychosis, for example, they might have had a very difficult or traumatic experience, they may have been using drugs or substances, or they might be struggling with life's challenges. If you are unsure about what we mean by psychosis, or whether or not this might be happening to you, you can talk about this with a member of the EIS Team, who will help you make sense of what is happening.

Psychosis can be very confusing, frightening and upsetting, our service aims to help reduce the impact it has on people's lives, help them recover as quickly and fully as they can, and reduce the chances of it happening again. Psychosis affects different people in different ways and we work flexibly to help every individual in a way that meets their needs. Although psychosis can have a big impact on people's lives it is not uncommon, for example, in Lancashire between 200 and 250 people each year will experience their first episode of psychosis.

Accessing the service 

We can only help individuals who have been referred to our service.

If you are worried that you or someone you care for is experiencing psychosis then you should visit your GP, who may refer you to specialist mental health services. 

Referrals are screened and assessed by nurse assessors and referred to the most appropriate service for therapeutic intervention. New referrals made to Lancashire EIS are discussed daily. If it is agreed that your needs require assessment by the service, we aim to complete the assessment within 2 weeks.

How we work

The Lancashire Early Intervention Service works with people for between 6 months and 3 years depending on their needs. The service is designed to support individuals and their families, partner or friends who support them in their recovery journey.

During this time the EIS will work with individuals to help them develop a better understanding of the strengths, skills and resources they have that will help them achieve their personal and recovery goals and reduce the impact that psychosis might have for individuals socially or in work.

Our team is made up of the following professionals:

  • Care Co-Ordinator (CCO)
  • Duty Worker
  • Psychiatrist
  • Psychological Therapist
  • Support, Time and Recovery (STaR) Workers
  • Research Assistant