Authors: Mark Porter and Leartluk Nuntavisit, WA
Event: 2009 TheMHS Conference
Subject: CHILD, YOUTH, ADOLESCENT, YOUNG PEOPLE
Type of resource: Conference Presentations and Papers
Abstract: Multisystemic Therapy (MST) is a community-based treatment model developed in the United States of America in the late 1970’s to address imitations of existing mental health services for serious juvenile offenders. The limitations included minimal effectiveness, low accountability of service providers for outcomes, and high cost. The Multisystemic Therapy program now has a well-documented capacity to address externalising behaviours such as truancy, substance misuse, and verbal and physical aggression. A key feature of MST is its capacity to address multiple risk factors from a wide range of systems present in each particular case, hence the term ‘multisystemic’. The program only uses evidence-based practices and has been generated from over 30 years of research and utilised in more than 10 randomised clinical trials. Although the young person is the referred client, the MST Clinician views the whole family as the client and aims to make changes in their interactions between all relevant systems (family, peers, school, and community) that are nested around them. The Western Australian Health Department established two MST teams in Rockingham/Peel & Joondalup regions in late 2005. This paper provides an update on the SMAHS Multi-Systemic Therapy Program, describing the target population including inclusion & exclusion criteria, the intervention, and the local program’s treatment outcomes.