Late Intervention

Mental Health Cop

Sunset For many years now, we’ve heard the repeated mantra of early intervention – both in terms of treatment of mental health problems and in terms of diversion from the criminal justice system for those who come into contact with the police or the courts. We’ve heard of and seen services explicitly branded with an Early Intervention label, for example in first-episode psychosis services.

Of course, early intervention of any kind poses a particular kind of problem, whether in mental health or in youth justice and child protection where we also see this kind of discussion. If we did nothing other than sanction children who were caught shoplifting, not all of them would begin an inevitable decline into drug taking, acquisitive crime and custodial sentences. It is far from inevitable that if someone experiencing their first episode of psychosis in their late teens or early twenties does not receive an appropriate…

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