Resources Early Intervention

Early Intervention


Psychosis is a debilitating mental condition that alters how a person thinks, perceives the world and ultimately how they feel, behave and function. Psychosis may be caused by a psychiatric illness such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. It can also be caused by brain injury, infection or substance abuse. Symptoms can include delusions, hallucinations, disorganized thinking and /or bizarre behavior. Onset generally develops slowly over several months or even years and typically occurs during late adolescence or early adulthood. Psychosis can impact all facets of a person’s life, such as career, education, relationships and employment. Each year about 12 of out every 100,000 people in Ontario will experience their first episode of psychosis and the overwhelming majority of them will be adolescents and young adults between the ages of 14 and 35 (Jablensky, et al., 1992 ; Ministry of Health and Long Term Care: Early Psychosis Intervention Program Standards, 2011).

Early Intervention

The goal of early intervention is to reduce treatment delays and optimize chances for recovery. In 1999 the Ontario Working Group on Early Intervention in Psychosis was formed in partnership with the provincial government to enhance early intervention services in Ontario, SSO is an active member of this group. This Working Group has taken a leadership role in Ontario in advocating for the expansion of early intervention across the province.

Early Intervention Family Support at SSO

Families are often the first line of support for an individual living with mental illness. SSO offers a support program for families experiencing a first episode of psychosis. This program provides counseling, system navigation and information to family members to help ensure signs are identified quickly and they receive the best combination of services to assist loved ones in their recovery. This service is available to families across the province by contacting or 1-800-449-6367 Monday to Friday 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. EST.