www.mentalhealthservices.org.nz | Specialty  | Early Intervention Service

Early Intervention Service


Nau mai piki mai te tari “EIS” ki poneke

The Early Intervention Service clinical team provides central regional training and consultation to Hawke's Bay, Tairawhiti, Whanganui, Wairarapa and MidCentral, as well providing the clinical services for C&CDHB (Wellington, Kapiti and Porirura) and Hutt DHB.

The Early Intervention Service is an ‘Early Intervention in Psychosis’ service.  This means that we try to help – as early as possible – a young person who is experiencing psychosis.  We provide a service to people aged 13 to 25 who are experiencing psychosis for the first time, or who have not previously had treatment for psychosis. 


He aha te mate ahotea?

At the Early Intervention Service we help you work out if you are experiencing psychosis.  We do this by talking with you and (if possible) your family or other people who know you well, asking questions about what has been happening.  This early stage of talking is called an assessment.  If the assessment shows you are experiencing psychosis we can work with you to develop a treatment plan.

What is Psychosis? - Follow link for brochure

A treatment plan includes:

  • Supporting you during your recovery
    Recovery is happening when someone is living well in the presence or absence of psychosis
  • Helping you and your family and whanau, close friends and or flatmates understand what psychosis is
  • Helping you learn what you ca do to stay well and what you can do if you have another episode of psychosis
  • Linking you in with other people and services who might also be able to help
  • Telling you about activities and group programmes you could join to meet others that have had similar experiences
    Group activities are also a chance to get out, have some fun, and try some new challenges.

We also allocate you a care manager.  This person is your main contact at the Early Intervention Service and is responsible for arranging and coordinating with you the care you receive from us.

If you do not have psychosis… 

If the assessment shows you are not experiencing psychosis, then this service is not the best one to help.  We will talk with you about other services you can go to get help.

Hei aha ma matou kaupapa?

In offering treatment we try to look at all aspects of a person’s life that can help them recover.  This includes:

  • The need for information and encouragement
  • Social support
  • Cultural needs and cultural identity
  • Physical health
  • Thoughts and feelings
  • Lifestyle
  • Employment (Workfirst service)
  • Spirituality

We do this through:


An important part of treatment is learning about psychosis and the things that may trigger it.  We offer a variety of education on a one-to-one basis or within a group.


People with psychosis often benefit from medication at some stage of their treatment.  The psychiatrist you meet will check your general health and discuss the option of medication with you, explaining all the pros and cons.  They will meet with you regularly to see how you are doing and if you have been prescribed medication, they will check how it is working.

Our philosophy is to recommend medication only when we believe it will help with recovery, and only to use the lowest possible effective dose.


At different times we run several kinds of groups, for people of different ages, including one group for young Maori.  Group activities include, socialising and sharing a meal, outdoor activities, education and group discussions, and day and overnight trips.  At times there is an ongoing family group providing an opportunity for further education and discussion around psychosis and recovery.

Taking the time to talk

Coming to terms with an episode of psychosis is not easy.  The experience usually generates a great number of questions and can lead to a variety of mixed thoughts and feelings.  Talking through those thoughts and feelings with someone who understands what you are going through can usually help.  All our staff members are experienced at doing this and are more than happy to take the time to talk.  Some have particular skills in helping people sort through distressing or problematic thoughts and feelings, working with them to develop more helpful ways of dealing with things. 

Family Services

We run regular family education sessions where we talk about the different aspects of psychosis.  These are held over a number of evenings or two Saturday mornings and are a chance for families to meet others in similar situations. We have a family worker as part of the team as well as some useful educational resources.

We also recommend family members contact Atareira (Supporting Families Wellington).  They give a range of information, advocacy and support for families/whanau and friends of people experiencing mental illness on a one-to-one group basis.

Specialist Input

 Your care manager may suggest that you also use other services, such as:

  • Alcohol and Drug Counselling
  • Maori Mental Health Services
  • Pacific Island Mental Health Services
  • Chaplaincy Services
  • Interpreters


  • To provide a service for young people experiencing a psychotic illness for the first time
  • Promote early detection of psychosis in young people, shortening the course of psychosis and decreasing illness severity - thereby minimising potential complications
  • To increase the level of specialist clinical early intervention expertise in the Children and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS), adult community mental health teams and inpatient services across the North Island Central Region
  • To improve services for young adults who experience psychosis for the first time
  • Helping whanau and family and those close to the young person understand psychosis and what helps in recovery

Referral criteria

Individuals aged 13-25 years, with a first time presentation of psychosis.  The service is for people that have had, either no previous treatment, or less than one year’s treatment from mental health services.  The service also provides clinical services to the Hutt Valley DHB.


Contact People        

Team Leader
Ray McEnhill                                                  

Research & Training Coordinator
Saskia van Stockum



 Training and Resources available -

Training sessions are available to the Central Region DHBs (Hawke's Bay, Whanganui, Wairarapa, MidCentral, Hutt) and Tairawhiti, as agreed to between the DHBs. These sessions are intended for mental health professionals and other relevant groups, to increase the level of specialist clinical early intervention expertise in those regions. 

Training can also be provided in Wellington to mental health, primary health and NGO groups of practitioners, with the aim of increasing knowledge about the early psychosis, and the principles and practice of early intervention.

Resources about psychosis and related topics are available on request.


The EIS team is a comprehensive team with a range of professional, qualified and trained staff that includes:

  • Team Leader  
  • Administrators     
  • Consultant Psychiatrists
  • Registrar  
  • Nurses  
  • Occupational Therapists    
  • Psychologists
  • Social Workers
  • Kai Manaaki
  • Employment Consultant
  • Research and Training Co-ordinator