Our Early Intervention in Psychosis (EIIP) teams provide specialist treatment and care for people aged between 14 and 65 who have signs of psychosis.
The teams are made up of a number of different health and social care professionals who provide a range of treatment and support to you and your family/carers.
What is psychosis
Psychosis is a mental health condition which usually affects people in their teens or early adult years - although older people can experience it too.
Early signs can be vague and barely noticeable, and symptoms can vary a lot from one person to another, but the more common signs of psychosis include:
- Mood swings, increased anxiety and/or loss of energy
- Having unusual or strange experiences e.g. hearing, smelling and/or seeing things that other people don't
- Becoming withdrawn and communicating less with those around you
- Believing that people are conspiring against you, that you have special powers or that people on the TV or radio are talking about you
- Distressing thoughts and beliefs e.g. that you're being followed or overheard or that someone is interfering with your thoughts, body or actions
- Jumbled and confusing thoughts or not being able to hold a clear train of thought.
What causes psychosis
The causes of psychosis are still not fully understood but it's likely that there are a number of reasons why people develop it:
Times of extreme stress such as relationship difficulties, families splitting up, parents arguing, exams or unemployment.
Lack of sleep
When people don't have enough sleep they can begin to see things differently and can experience psychotic symptoms e.g they may hear voices when other people don't.
There is a strong relationship between the use of drugs such as cannabis, speed and cocaine and the development of psychoptic symptoms.
For a few people, psychosis is the result of an underlying medical illness, usually one involving the brain and nervous system.
Getting our help
Although it may feel scary to talk about your symptoms, the earlier psychosis is diagnosed and treated, the more likely you are to get better. The majority of people recover in less than six months with ongoing treatment and support.
There are three ways you can get our help:
Ask your GP to refer you
Make an appointment with your GP and discuss your symptoms with him/her. They can then refer you to us.
Ask someone you trust to refer you
We accept referrals from family members, carers, teachers, social workers or anyone involved in your care. You must be aware that they're referring you and this must be your first episode of psychosis.
Contact the team nearest to you and we can meet you to talk about your symptoms. Getting treatment early increases your chance of a full recovery so we recommend contacting us as soon as you can.
How we help
If you have psychosis or are at a risk of developing it, the first thing we do is to assess your symptoms and needs. We then create a plan of care with you and your family and provide ongoing treatment and care to support your recovery for up to three years.
We can also support you to take up employment, education and volunteering opportunities in your local community.
Our EIIP teams are multi-disciplinary and consist of:
- Consultant psychiatrists
- Specialty doctors
- Community psychiatric nurses
- Occupational therapists
- Social workers
- Support time recovery workers
Working closely with your family/carers is an important part of our work. We want the people around you to have the best information about your condition, so that they can support you and each other effectively. Find out more about how we do this.
Supporting your carers
Receiving a diagnosis of psychosis can be as stressful for family and carers as for the person themselves. Our Carers Practice Advisors support family members and carers in their caring role.
They aim to improve carers' quality of life and help them to continue in their caring role. They can also help ensure that the carer's voice is heard when the person they care for is having their needs assessed or met.
They do this by:
- Giving advice/offering support and a sympathetic ear
- Providing events where carers can share their experiences
- Providing information on mental ill-health and the treatments available
- Acting as advocates and speaking up on behalf of the carer.
What people say
"I was becoming increasingly paranoid, saying that I didn't want my Mum in the room at the time because I was ‘worried’ about her, believing that she had an illness that she and my family were keeping from me.
The daily stressors of life started to increasingly attack my tough exterior, which allowed my vulnerability to seep out. I started to worry, stress and overthink events and situations which made them feel more overwhelming and serious. Being 18 at the time, my workload and the pressure to get into university, pass my exams, made it easier for me to feel very unsettled and lost - to the point where I found social activities that I had previously enjoyed the most - UNBEARABLE.
I can’t be sure exactly when things started to get weird…..
…I was vulnerable.
What made me who I was (my identity, my personality, my determination) started to DISAPPEAR.
I felt I had lost everything, I felt spacey, anxious - but hyper. I couldn’t sleep
I kept hearing voices.
I was scared.
But… the Early Intervention in Psychosis Team slowly got me back together, piece by piece.
I still have stresses. I still get paranoid and worry, but that is human. I have just learned to deal with the concerns I have and realised it is part of who I am. I am still learning.
If there is anything I could say to you today it would be don’t give up hope. YOU ARE NOT ALONE. So many people are going through exactly what you are going through they may just be at a different stage of recovery.
It sounds like a cliché but no matter what life throws at you, it can only make you STRONGER."
Many young people experience thoughts and moods that can leave you feeling lonely and scared. They can pop up with no warning: changes in your mood, suddenly feeling anxious, withdrawn or lacking in energy can he hard for you or your loved ones to understand if you've never experienced those things before. They can leave you feeling isolated too, because they're difficult to talk about.
The My Journey app is designed to help you keep track of how you;re feeling. By working through the set of questions with an easy-to-use rating wheel, My Journey can help you make informed choices about what to do to improve your mental health.
Using My Journey you can:
- Monitor your mood
- Set goals and track your progress at your own pace
- Receive advice on what to do and who to contact if you need help
- Keep track of any medication you take
- As you work through the app, it also gives you simple tips on things you can do to help you feel better such as sleep, dietary and exercise advice.
The app doesn't store your ratings, so you can use it repeatedly and receive targeted advice on how you're feeling day-by-day.
My Journey was created by Surrey and Borders Partnership NHS Foundation Trust and young people who have used our services.
We have two Early Intervention in Psychosis teams. If you think we can help you, you can call us yourself or ask your doctor, family/carers or teacher to call us.
Please contact the team who cover the borough that your GP is based in. Details are listed below but if you're not sure which borough your GP is in, just call your nearest team and they can redirect you if necessary.
This team is based at the St Peter's Hospital site in Chertsey
and can help if your GP is in Spelthorne, Runnymede, Guildford, Waverley, Rushmoor, Hart or Surrey Heath.
This team is based at the West Park site in Epsom and can help if your GP is in Tandridge, Reigate & Banstead, Mole Valley, Epsom & Ewell, East Molesey or West Molesey.