February 2019 – Youth Health

In February we concentrated on Youth Health

We received many responses with 20 from health care providers throughout the region, 64 from community members and a further 10 from carers. The majority of both health care providers and community responses indicated that having access to mental health services that were youth friendly and non-judgemental were important, throughout the region. Most importantly for the community members decreasing wait times was an important issue. Additional funding for services in each of our local government areas was a recommendation from both health professionals and community members. Carers’ issues included needing more support. Following are some of the comments we received.

What is important to you about mental health services?

Health professional – “Easy access, community education, less waiting times for therapy and more person centred and empathetic approach of client/professional partnership”.

Community members – “That they are accessible, that the right service is given at the right time”; “Ensuring accessibility of services in rural and remote communities. Focus on youth mental health resourcing and reducing the stigma associated with accessing support”; “Access, quality of service, cultural awareness”; “Better funding, more access to help quickly not have to ring around several different phone numbers to get an appointment”; “That people can access in a timely manner not have to wait for months to gain access to a service”.

What else could happen to improve mental health services?

Health professional – “More accessibility Non-judgemental Confidentiality More services for rural remote”.

Community members – “Greater access and more in depth services”; “That services are of a high quality & are readily available, that consumers are treated with dignity & respect & are heard”; “Easy to access make an appointment and actually get in in a timely manner not weeks wait”; “Better access, wait lists just turn away someone who has courage to seek help. Community knows about it. Welcoming/inviting Culturally appropriate”; “more funding better training for mental health workers access to ongoing quality care with well trained professionals there is a desperate need for at least one child psychologist in our region more psychiatrists quality affordable care”; “Advising family members on what to look out for in regards to someone contemplating suicide, giving advice on what to say to prevent self harm. Referring to other services when there is a wait list for specialist services ie/ sexual assault”; “Skype psychiatrist assessments and reviews both inside and outside of business hours”; “Better education and awareness for all GPs and health providers in what mental health services are available”. 

Cristy Houghton