PATS (Paying Attention to Self) Program

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Authors: Centre for Adolescent Health, Victoria; Goulburn Valley Child & Adolescent Mental Health Service, Shepparton; Inner South Community Health Service; Wimmera Uniting Care, Horsham; Youth Services, Shire of Yarra Ranges, Lilydale

Year: 2006

Event: 2006 TheMHS Awards


Type of resource: TheMHS Awards

Award state: VIC

Award level: Finalist

Award category: Mental Health Promotion or Mental Illness Prevention Program or Project

Abstract: Paying Attention To Self (PATS) is a peer support program for young people aged 12–18 years who have a parent affected by a mental illness. The program aims to reduce the likelihood of the development of mental health difficulties in young people who have been identified as having an increased risk for this outcome; to decrease the risk factors for these young people; and to increase their coping skills to help them meet their needs and challenges. The eight-week peer support program facilitated by a health professional and a peer leader provides groups with ongoing opportunities for support through social, education and recreational activities. As a capacity building program, PATS focuses on workers, organisations, and the broader community, creating awareness of issues affecting children of a parent with a mental illness. Description of Facility/Organisation: Established in 1991 with support from the Victorian Health Promotion Foundation and the William Buckland Trust, the Centre for Adolescent Health is recognised for advancing knowledge that has influenced adolescent health practice and policy internationally. An initiative of the Royal Children’s Hospital, it is also significantly supported by the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute and The University of Melbourne. The Centre is comprised of Adolescent Services; Learning, Innovation and Community; and Research.

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