Last week I was lucky enough to visit the Early Intervention in Psychosis (EIP) team in Bondi, Sydney.
Up from the hill from the world famous Bondi beach, in a quiet leafy lane with sufficient garden spiders to slight rattle a still aclimatising Englishman, the EIP team manages to seamlessly integrate research and clinical support for clients.
I already knew about the team’s research and clinical work which attempts to intervene early to prevent the weight-gain often associated with the use of antipsychotic medication, and their publications on this topic.
What I didn’t know about was other research by the team showing that exercise in EIP populations increases hippocampal brain volumes and cognitive functioning, the EEG lab they have which aids the integration of research with treatment services, the in-house gym, and the healthy eating programs they run (including practical cooking and shopping help).
It was really nice to see consumer’s physical health needs being so clearly addressed, particularly given in a recent paper I had flagged the need for greater attention to this area based on a meta-synthesis of qualitative studies of the experience of psychosis.
Well done to Jackie Curtis and the rest of the team! Hopefully this holistic model of working will soon become standard practice.