Multi-faceted approach is key
A NEW mental health facility for youths will focus on more than just medication, consultant psychiatrist Wei Soong says.
Officially opened earlier this month, the $2.5 million Youth Axis facility in Wembley is part of the specialist North Metropolitan Health Service Mental Health agency, which recognises and targets the complex needs of people aged 16-24 across the Perth metropolitan area.
Mr Soong said the facility’s multi-disciplinary team based at the Salvado Road facility would travel to young people offering specialised support.
“We are an early intervention service so we have a program designed around helping people who have difficulties with their emotional regulation and the staff are also trained to help them deal with that,” Mr Soong said.
“I will often do a psychiatric assessment review but we have social workers who do family work as well. We also have a clinical psychologist who can do individual therapy and the staff are trained to work one-on-one.”
Fourteen per cent of young people aged 12-17 years and 27 per cent of young people aged 18-24 years will experience a mental health problem in any one year, while suicide accounts for almost a quarter of all deaths in people aged 20 to 24 years. Youth Mental Health director Warwick Smith said youth appropriate mental health services were integral.
“I think the biggest message to young people is if they are concerned about mental health contact somebody who knows something about mental health, don’t wait,” he said.