About IEPA

IEPA is an international network for those involved in the study and treatment of the early phases of mental health disorders encompassing a trans-diagnostic approach.


With its origins in early intervention in psychosis, IEPA aims to enhance awareness of the early phases of mental health disorders more generally, their causes, prevention and the process of recovery. It aims to provide a network for international communication and collaboration between stakeholders.

IEPA members include clinicians, researchers, administrators, policy makers, and individuals with an interest in the field of early intervention in psychiatry.

We aim to:

  • Enhance awareness of the early phases of mental illnesses and the process of recovery, building on experience from research on early psychosis to take a trans-diagnostic view.
  • Provide a network for international communication and collaboration between stakeholders, including mental health professionals, consumers and their families, and policy makers.
  • Contribute to the development of knowledge about the early stages of mental illnesses and their treatment.
  • Facilitate research, including multi-centre trials, cross-cultural research, and long-term studies.
  • Facilitate the development and promotion of best practice in identifying early psychosis and other mental health disorders, and providing optimal treatment.
  • Improve services to young people with emerging mental ill-health, and their families, through encouragement of appropriate mental health policies.
  • Improve access to information on the identification and treatment of mental ill health in its early phases.
  • Arrange conferences and professional meetings on an international level that focus on the early phase of mental health disorders.
  • Provide links to existing educational resources and training options.

IEPA History

In the 1990s research began to clearly demonstrate that early intervention in psychosis provides long-term benefits. Clinicians and researchers began to meet informally to discuss and share the research.

The first international conference was held in Melbourne, Australia in June 1996. Titled Verging on Reality, it focused exclusively on early psychosis. A strong feeling emerged at this conference that an international association was needed to share information about research occurring in different parts of the world. A second international conference focusing on early intervention in psychosis was held in Stratford-upon-Avon, England, in June 1997. This conference provided an opportunity for the formation of the inaugural International Advisory Board.
The International Early Psychosis Association was officially incorporated in August 1998 in the state of Victoria, Australia. A part-time Secretariat Officer was employed in October 1998 to develop the Secretariat Office.

The International Early Intervention and Prevention in Mental Health Association Rules of Incorporation comply with the Associations Incorporation Act 1981.

The IEPA hosts an international conference every two years, providing an excellent opportunity for sharing experiences and exchanging ideas. For more information, see the IEPA Conference Website.