Annual Conference

TheMHS 2014 S045: Workshop – Engaging Homeless Youth In their Mental Health Care

By August 28, 2014 No Comments

You can read an abstract for the workshop here.

Haylee Clarke and Anthony Collier presented on engaging with young poeple experiencing mental health problems. They also discussed the positive effects of young people developing their own management plans.

Haylee is a senior social worker from Youth Reach South. Anthony has a social work background and is Co-director of mental health at Rockingham Peel group.

The one hour workshop covered a range of topics that included:

  • Overview of Youth Group South
  • Why involve young people?
  • Putting youth participation / client-centred practice into action
  • Young people discussing about being involved in their treatment and presenting tips on engagement
  • YRS – Putting engagement into practice
  • Workshop action

The Youth Reach Service works on a relational and empowerment model. It is comprised of a multi-disciplinary team who all work under the belief system that young people:

  • Want to succeed
  • Are intelligent
  • Are resilient

By including young people in the development of their management plan, not only were these beliefs upheld, but other benefits were realised by both the clinicians and young people.

It was highlighted that a common language formed between the youth and clinicians involved, reducing the stigma and fear of mental health services. This in turn provided the young people with a better understanding of the mental health system and its related measures. The participation of young people in planning also improved both their engagement and their overall outcomes.

The staff reported that, although it was hard to implement at first, including the young people in the planning stages of their management plans was a very rewarding process.

Being able to complete outcome measures and receive feedback from the youth within sessions, when they are typically completed outside of sessions, helped reduce the workload and allowed more time to spend with the young people.