The IEPA is uniquely interdisciplinary, involving everyone who has an interest in improving mental health — scientists, mental health practitioners, policy makers and administrators responsible for resourcing services, and consumers — said Professor Jones.
Early diagnosis and intervention improves outcomes and has a beneficial impact on developmental trajectories
He explained that the origins of the IEPA in Australia in the 1990s had reflected a paradigm shift in the treatment of psychosis with the recognition that; early diagnosis and intervention not only improved outcomes, but also had a beneficial impact on the developmental trajectory of the illness.
The IEPA has since become a global organization and reaches many individuals and other organizations worldwide through its websites in English, French and Portuguese, and expanding use of social media. These methods of communication aim to further their reach in order to increase awareness of mental health on World Mental Health Day.
The philosophy of early intervention benefits mental illnesses other than psychosis and is beneficial for stakeholders worldwide, not just those that in developed countries, said Professor Jones. The focus for IPEA 11 is therefore “Broadening the Scope;” and the next IEPA meeting will be in South America in Rio de Janeiro in 2019.
Broadening of scope will enable progression towards the collective goal to improve mental health worldwide
Professor Keshavan said that in addition to the geographical aspect, Broadening the Scope emphasizes the need for a broadening of skills and scaling up on three levels as follows:
- translation of knowledge from bench to bedside
- extending the diagnostic spectrum from psychosis to mental health more generally
- scaling up of conferences to include all stakeholders with different journeys
Dr Woodberry highlighted how the IEPA had arranged a 1-day attendance for people with lived experience and their relatives to join IEPA 11 to share their experiences and ideas and interact with other delegates.
Connecting and sharing ideas to learn from each other is a major focus of IPEA 11, emphasized Dr Deason, and she hoped the meeting would inspire, renew and rejuvenate all delegates in their everyday work to improve mental health.
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