early psychosis referral checklist

Spot the signs and symptoms early and refer a young person at risk of developing psychosis.

Experiencing psychotic symptoms doesn’t necessarily mean that someone has a psychotic illness. More than three quarters of psychotic experiences don’t progress to a diagnosable illness. There are a range of illnesses that have psychotic symptoms, including:

  • brief psychotic disorder
  • substance/medication-induced psychotic disorder
  • bipolar disorder
  • major depression with psychotic features
  • delusional disorder
  • schizophrenia.


To understand whether a young person may be experiencing psychotic systems and needs to be referred to the headspace Early Psychosis program use this checklist.


Designed primarily for health professionals, the checklist explores issues such functional decline that may have occurred in the past three months, plus the prevalence of positive and negative symptoms.

The adolescent psychotic-like symptom screen (APSS) forms part of the checklist and asks specialist questions, such as:

  • ‘Have you ever felt you were under the control of some special power?’
  • ‘Have you ever seen things that other people could not see?’
  • ‘Have you ever felt like you had extra special powers?’

The checklist uses a score-based assessment system to recommend whether a referral should be made.


Download Early Psychosis Referral Checklist


Download our psychosis factsheet


Get professional support

If you feel you need help there are a range of ways we can support you.