Book Review

Early Intervention in PsychiatryAnybody who works within the primary care sector will have doubtless experienced frustrations at what is often perceived as a paucity of mental health services readily accessible for their patients. Not necessarily different from other primary care services and as this book advocates, certainly not in keeping with the principles of early intervention.In many fields of medicine, early intervention will not only find favour with clinicians and patients but is also supported by an ever-increasing evidence base. This book, however, is concerned solely with mental health and certainly provides a comprehensive coverage of this area of health care. It addresses the most common psychiatric disorders across all age ranges and considers best available evidence. The content is delivered in such a way as to be digestible for a wide range of allied health professionals, not solely those with a specific focus on mental health.The principle of early intervention is predictably emphasised throughout and the stoic contribution which the voluntary sector makes in that regard is given due attention. But what really does make for an engaging read is how the contributors have chartered an obvious paradigm shift in the delivery of mental health services from the early 1990s to the present. In particular, the transformation from a generic mental health service model to a more individual approach, identifying and supporting those patients experiencing a first episode of psychosis.‘Digestible for a wide range of allied health professionals’Evidentially sound, but as to whether it is an accurate picture of mental health services in the community, I will leave that to your own reflections. A number of the contributors certainly bear testimony to the positive impact this change in approach has had. Even with my now customary middle-aged sourness, don't let that detract you from what is a compelling read.

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