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Tijdschrift voor Psychiatrie 63 (2021) 2, 142 - 149


Preventing chronicity in mental health: being present earlier within the network

I.P.M. Keet, M. Destoop

Background Despite the increase in treatment options, mental illness is still too often evolving into chronic serious mental illness.
Aim To describe concrete interventions aimed at the life structure and early detection within and outside mental health care to prevent chronicity in mental health.
Method According to a quadrant, evidence-based interventions to prevent chronicity are proposed. These interventions can focus on the life structure of the patient and on early identification and intervention. They can take place both inside and outside mental health care.
Results Important interventions within mental health care include complete and repeated diagnostics, including staging, profiling and somatic screening, Mental health care must also focus on early detection and early treatment for all mental illnesses and apply concrete interventions such as IPS, lifestyle interventions, shared decision-making and low threshold anti-stigma actions. Outside of mental health services, mental health first aid (MHFA), housing first, alcohol prevention and mental gymnastics can be used.
Conclusion Preventing chronicity requires an integrated cross-sectoral approach and a gatekeeper approach with active and responsive mental health care. Tijdschrift voor Psychiatrie 63(2021)2, 142-149

keywords prevention, severe mental illness (SMI), chronicity, early detection network, .