What is AEPCC?
The Australian Early Psychosis Collaborative Consortium (we call it AEPCC, pronounced ‘APEX’) is being established to improve the care of young people experiencing psychosis.
We’re partnering with researchers, clinicians, lived experience communities, mental health advocacy groups, policy makers and governments across Australia to strengthen clinical services.
AEPCC will make this happen by building a framework for streamlining the translation of research into real-world treatment for young people with early psychosis.
AEPCC is being built to last, and will bring together and support the early psychosis sector for many years to come.
Why it's needed
Psychotic illnesses such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder are a major cause of premature death and disability in Australia and globally.
Psychosis generally arises in adolescence and young adulthood and often affects normal development, with potential long-term impacts on educational outcomes, physical health, employment and relationships.
It’s vital to identify young people who are at risk of experiencing psychosis as early as possible. Receiving timely, high-quality, evidence-based care not only helps treat symptoms, but also reduces the risk of progression to a lifelong disorder.
Although clinical guidelines have been developed, some variations in treatment remain. Crucial insights gained through AEPCC’s work will be used to create more standardised and continuously refined care, to further improve the lives of young people experiencing psychosis.
What we do
Working with partners from across the early psychosis research, clinical and lived experience communities, AEPCC will establish three programs by December 2023:
AEPCC is establishing the first Australian Clinical Trials and Translation Network in early psychosis.
The network will bring together the research, clinical and lived experience community to:
- set priority areas for early psychosis research;
- facilitate collaborative multi-site early psychosis research trials; and
- provide a framework for streamlining the translation of research into real-world practice.
AEPCC will be a facilitating clinical trials network, building a national network driving innovation to ensure young people experiencing early psychosis receive the best treatment when they most need it, giving them the very best opportunity to live a full and well life.
AEPCC will establish the first clinical quality registry in the Australian youth mental health sector.
Clinical quality registries collect and analyse routine clinical outcome data from people who receive treatment at clinical services that participate in a registry for a particular condition.
This information can be used to understand the impact of treatments, in turn helping the sector advocate for more and better services – which is still very much needed in the early psychosis sector.
The AEPCC CQR will collect data from participating clinical services to better understand the outcomes of young people who experience early psychosis.
All Australian early psychosis clinical services will be able to take part.
AEPCC will also establish a lived experience network that will be created and guided by the early psychosis lived experience community.
This national network of young people with lived experience of mental ill-health, carers and family members supporting a loved one, will collaborate with the other AEPCC programs to:
- shape its policies;
- identify areas of improvement in early psychosis research and treatment;
- advocate for marginalised voices; and
- explore ways of raising awareness and combatting stigma.