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World Schizophrenia Day

The Explainer x Noteworthy: Are young people with psychosis getting the help they need?

News Correspondent Órla Ryan and consultant psychiatrist Dr Karen O’Connor talk to Maria Delaney about the lack of investment in psychosis services.

LAST UPDATE | 24 May

THE LACK OF investment in vital early intervention in psychosis (EIP) services is putting lives at risk and costing more money in the long run.

For Noteworthy’s latest in-depth series, FALLING THROUGH THE CRACKS, Órla Ryan has explored how young people with psychosis often struggle to access services in Ireland.

Karin Kenny, whose son Kielan experiences psychotic episodes, said the delay some people experience when trying to access services is “destroying” lives. 

Some €3.68 million was invested in EIP services from 2015 to 2022, but no new funding has been granted since then – despite the fact these teams are proven to save lives and money.

Speaking on World Schizophrenia Day, Dr Karen O’Connor, the HSE’s National Clinical Lead on early intervention in psychosis (EIP), said one of the biggest challenges faced by her and her colleagues is the fact their funding is “year to year”.

Around €30 million in additional funding is needed to set up the extra 20 EIP teams required to meet the current level of demand, according to O’Connor.

In a bonus episode of The Explainer podcast, brought to you by Noteworthy, Ryan and O’Connor talk to presenter Maria Delaney about the need for more investment in these life-saving services. 


The Explainer / SoundCloud

This episode was put together by Órla Ryan, Maria Delaney and producer Laura Byrne. 

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Supported by the Rosalynn Carter Fellowship for Mental Health Journalism in the Republic of Ireland in partnership with Headline, a Shine programme.

If you have been affected by any of the issues mentioned in this article, you can reach out for support through the following helplines. These organisations also put people in touch with long-term supports:

  • Shine - 01 860 1610 or 086 040 7701, phone lines are monitored Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm (mental health difficulties including schizophrenia and psychosis, individual and family support)
  • Samaritans – 116 123 or email jo@samaritans.org (suicide, crisis support)
  • Text About It – text HELLO to 50808 (mental health issues)
  • Aware – 1800 80 48 48 (depression, anxiety)
  • Pieta House – 1800 247 247 or text HELP to 51444 – (suicide, self-harm)
  • Teen-Line Ireland – 1800 833 634 (for ages 13 to 19)
  • Childline – 1800 66 66 66 (for under 18s)