The Swiss Early Psychosis Project SWEPP: a national network

Authors


Dr Andor E. Simon, Specialized Early Psychosis Outpatient Service for Adolescents and Young Adults, Psychiatric Outpatient Services, Department of Psychiatry, 4101 Bruderholz, Switzerland. Email: andor.simon@bluewin.ch

Abstract

Aim: The study aims to describe the activities of the Swiss Early Psychosis Project (SWEPP) which was founded in 1999 as a national network to further and disseminate knowledge on early psychosis (EP) and to enhance collaboration between healthcare groups.

Methods: The present paper is a detailed account of the initiation and the development of the Swiss network. We describe all activities such as the several educational campaigns that were addressed to primary and secondary care groups since the early days. We also provide an overview of the current status of EP services throughout the country.

Results: Today, most regions in Switzerland provide specialized EP inpatient and/or outpatient services with a clinical or combined clinical research approach that targets at-risk and/or first-episode populations. Some more recently initiated EP services have been launched as collaborative models between several local or regional psychiatric services.

Conclusions: The increasing number of EP services and experts in Switzerland may mirror the catalyzing contribution of the Swiss Early Psychosis Project in this important field of health care. The country's small size and the increasing density of specialized services provide excellent bases for larger-scale networking activities in the future, both in clinical and research areas.

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