Responding to serious and complex mental health problems in youth: the role of an interagency forum

Lee, Erica, Dillon, Alana, Dorries, Valda, Beech, Michael, and McDermott, Brett (2004) Responding to serious and complex mental health problems in youth: the role of an interagency forum. Australasian Psychiatry, 12 (3). pp. 264-267.

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Objective: To review the origins, processes, clientele and outcomes of a child and youth interagency forum, a collaborative response to children and youth with severe and complex presentations.

Methods: After a description of the Forum origins, membership and processes, both qualitative and quantitative information is provided on the Forum clientele. The Forum's effectiveness is considered in terms of changes in services provided to this group, as well as changes in agency and interagency work practices.

Results: Forum clients were predominantly boys aged 12 years, with an overrepresentation of indigenous and intellectually disabled children. Few lived with biological parents, and on average had experienced five schools, 11 or more residential placements and were involved with six agencies. Disruptive behaviour symptoms were common, as were suicidal thoughts or actions (43%), history of physical (50%) or sexual abuse (21%), alcohol (29%) and drug use (14%). On average Forum clients were taking three psychotropic medications. Forum client impairment ranged from major impairment to gross impairment across several domains.

Conclusions: While this is not a formal outcome study, evidence suggesting Forum usefulness included qualitative feedback from agencies, altered clinical and interagency practices, and decreased client impairment. Practical interventions for clients with chronic, complex multidomain impairments are discussed in the context of current Australian child and adolescent mental health services.

Item ID: 44598
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1440-1665
Keywords: adolescents, children, interagency collaboration, mental health services, multisystemic therapy
Date Deposited: 20 Jul 2016 02:30
FoR Codes: 11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1199 Other Medical and Health Sciences > 119999 Medical and Health Sciences not elsewhere classified @ 100%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9201 Clinical Health (Organs, Diseases and Abnormal Conditions) > 920111 Nervous System and Disorders @ 100%
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