In the U.K. it is now Government policy to make use of early-intervention services for people with psychosis. An increasing number of clinical services have been set up to help people in the early stages of psychosis. They aim to intervene as early as possible as a long duration of untreated psychosis has been associated with a poorer long-term outcome. If intervention can be given to at-risk people before they develop symptoms of psychosis then they can be stopped from developing the condition at all. However, the cost of early intervention is unclear. It is more intensive in the short term but could save money if it stops people becoming ill over the long term. Researchers from the Institute of Psychiatry in London looked into the cost-effectiveness of the OASIS (Outreach and Support in South London) service which aims to help people in an at-risk mental state for psychosis. They found that over a year the service was £1,872 more expensive per person than care as usual. The good news was that OASIS did indeed turn out to be cheaper than care as usual in the long term costing £961 less over a two-year period.
Valmaggia, L.R. ... [et al] - Economic impact of early intervention in people at high risk of psychosis Psychological Medicine October 2009, 39(10), 1617-1626