History of the Early Psychosis Declaration

First steps:

Under the banner of IRIS a small group of people from around the UK gathered in Cheltenham in 2001 to discuss how they might generate a consensus on how services could be improved for young people with psychosis and their families.

Newcastle upon Tyne  2002 

From those initial ideas the launch of the National Institute for Mental Health in England provided an ideal platform for further development.  40 people (service users, family members, and expert practitioners) met with representatives of the World Health Organisation (WHO), IRIS and Rethink to agree standards of care that those developing early psychosis and their families should expect. 

Key values agreed at Newcastle

  •  Support young people with psychosis and their families to achieve an ordinary life - move beyond illness to health improvement
  • Raise expectations for users and family members as a key driver of service improvement
  • Act as an attractor of good practice

Thus emerged the 'Newcastle' Declaration'

International Recognition Bristol 2004

IRIS, NIMHE and Rethink collaborated to promote the 'Newcastle' declaration internationally. This resulted in Benedetto Saraceno, Director of Mental Health for the WHO, formally releasing the declaration at a UK National EI conference in Bristol,  consolidating support from the WHO and the International Early Psychosis Association. 

The Early Psychosis Declaration comes of age

National Early Intervention Development Programme 2004 onwards

NIMHE and Rethink collaborate with IRIS to create a national programme of support for EI policy development.  The Early Psychosis Declaration becomes the core values and principles that underpin the programme.  NIMHE continue this programme 2007 to the present.

The journey of development enabled by the declaration has been likened to a social movement which has strengthened around the notion of social justice for young people and families.  That journey continues...


 “People change what they do less because they are given
analysis that shifts their thinking than because they are shown
a truth that influences their feelings.”
 John P Kotter (2002) The Heart of Change