Ms Celina Sargent1
1Tasmanian Health Service, Glenorchy, Australia
Pulse Youth Health South provides a range of health services for young people aged 12-24 in Southern Tasmania. In 2012 the service was concerned that young people were not accessing mental health support due to a range of barriers. This included transport, access to GPs to get a mental health plan and general barriers due to age and vulnerability.
A chance meeting with the University Psychology Clinic (UPC) Manager resulted in an idea to develop an outreach clinic based at Pulse Youth Health using provisional psychologists from the UPC. This service has now been operating for five years and provides easy access to psychological support for young people from around greater Hobart and the northern suburbs.
Based on evidence about the provision of good healthcare to young people, the clinic is free, does not require a mental health plan and is not time limited. Being located in a youth health service ensures the clinic is accessible, youth friendly and developmentally appropriate.
The clinic has enormous benefits for the provisional psychologists who develop an extensive knowledge and skills base about adolescent mental health. Working in the clinics, also provides an opportunity to consider how psychological services and interventions can be used with vulnerable young people.
Young people accessing the UPC at Pulse Youth Health work together with the provisional psychologist on client focussed goals at a pace that is suitable for the young person. The critical success factor for this service is the ability for the provisional psychologist to work collaboratively with other allied health professionals within the service to provide a whole range of support for a young person.
This program has demonstrated that partnerships such as this can greatly increase young people’s access to psychological services as well as enhancing the role of AHPs and building future workforce capacity.
Celina is a social worker who has worked for over 20 years in the area of youth health. This has included direct client work, working in government policy and managing services that work with young people. Celina’s passion is creating services and programs that make it easy for young people to seek the support they need. Removing barriers and creating partnerships with other organisations has been critical in the way in which the Youth Health Service (South) is able to increase access to services for the most vulnerable young people.