Early detection of mental disorders
in young people

Our research seeks to improve early detection and prevention of mental disorders in young people. Most mental disorders begin during adolescence or early adulthood and can remain untreated for a very long time.

The UK has been a pioneer country in promoting Early Intervention in mental health. Early Intervention services provide support to young people and their families during the initial stages of different mental health issues.

Our research has contributed to the evidence-base behind the UK’s National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) decision to recommend Early Intervention services for psychosis.

We continue to research more effective preventive strategies and more accurate tools to predict future mental health needs.

Access some of our research

Outreach and Support in South London (OASIS), 2011-2011: Ten years of early diagnosis and treatment for young individuals at high clinical risk or psychosis.

This publication by Dr. Paolo Fusar-Poli and colleagues provides an overview of London’s first Early Intervention service for young people at risk of experiencing psychosis. During its first 10 years of operation, the OASIS service provided support to 290 people and their carers in South London.

The Lambeth Early Onset (LEO) Team: Randomised controlled trial of the effectiveness of specialised care for early psychosis.

In this pioneering study, Professor Tom Craig lead an investigation on the effectiveness of an early intervention service to support young people experiencing a first episode of psychosis. The study was cited in the 2009 NICE guideline on schizophrenia, which recommends early intervention services.

Using clinical information to make individualized prognostic predictions in people at ultra high risk for psychosis

In this collaboration study between UK and Australia, Dr. Andrea Mechelli and colleagues showed that artificial intelligence can be used to predict if a young person is at increased risk of having a future psychotic disorder. The accuracy of our predictions is likely to improve in the future, as different types of data are combined. This can have important implications on our ability to prevent severe mental health problems.