Faculty of Health

Youth connection to mental health services the focus of new study

New research by the University of Tasmania’s Centre for Rural Health will look at how easily young people access the mental health help they need.

The project, run in collaboration with Cornerstone Youth Services Inc and The Link Youth Health Service, will examine the barriers and enablers for people aged between 12-25 years to access mental health services.

The project team is currently recruiting young people aged 12-25 years and parents or carers to talk about their experiences with youth mental health services.

Clinical Health Psychologist Doctor Heather Bridgman said mental disorders were one of the most common conditions affecting children and adolescents, however, statistics showed only half of those affected accessed the services they needed.

“Despite the strong evidence base for early intervention for mental health conditions, results from the national Second Australian Child and Adolescent Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing (2015) indicated that only 56% of young people who reported having a mental disorder had accessed any relevant services within the past 12 months,” she said.

“There is limited information available from young people about their experiences with mental health services so we would particularly like to speak to people who might have thought about accessing a service but haven’t, those who have accessed a service and stayed with that service or tried a service and left.”

Doctor Bridgman said she hoped the research would help inform Tasmanian mental health services about ways to strengthen and support access for young people across the state.

For more information contact Josephine de Deuge.