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Med J Aust. 2014 Feb 3;200(2):108-11.

headspace - Australia's innovation in youth mental health: who are the clients and why are they presenting?

Author information

1
Faculty of Health, University of Canberra, Canberra, ACT, Australia. debra.rickwood@canberra.edu.au.
2
headspace National Youth Mental Health Foundation, Melbourne, VIC, Australia.
3
Orygen Youth Health Research Centre, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, VIC, Australia.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

To provide the first national profile of the characteristics of young people (aged 12-25 years) accessing headspace centre services - the Australian Government's innovation in youth mental health service delivery - and investigate whether headspace is providing early service access for adolescents and young adults with emerging mental health problems.

DESIGN AND PARTICIPANTS:

Census of all young people accessing a headspace centre across the national network of 55 centres comprising a total of 21 274 headspace clients between 1 January and 30 June 2013.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

Reason for presentation, Kessler Psychological Distress Scale, stage of illness, diagnosis, functioning.

RESULTS:

Young people were most likely to present with mood and anxiety symptoms and disorders, self-reporting their reason for attendance as problems with how they felt. Client demographic characteristics tended to reflect population-level distributions, although clients from regional areas and of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander background were particularly well represented, whereas those who were born outside Australia were underrepresented.

CONCLUSION:

headspace centres are providing a point of service access for young Australians with high levels of psychological distress and need for care in the early stages of the development of mental disorder.

PMID:
24484115
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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