Mental health crisis support for children and adolescents

Mental Health Minister Amber-Jade Sanderson said supporting the mental health of kids is a priority.
March 28, 2024

THE state government is investing $46.6 million to bolster mental health crisis care services for children and adolescents, delivering acute care and response teams (ACRTs) across Perth.

The existing east metropolitan pilot service will be extended through a $22.4 million investment in the 2024-25 state budget, along with new ACRT in the Great Southern and north and south metropolitan regions.

ACRTs provide invaluable mobile outreach and crisis support services for children up to the age of 17 years, and are a key pillar of the infant, child, and adolescent (ICA) taskforce reforms being rolled out.

They are mobile teams who provide rapid response and support to children and adolescents experiencing a mental health crisis, as well as their families and carers, and will provide greater connection between in patient units, emergency departments (ED) and community services, ensuring young people are provided care close to home.

Additionally, the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service’s (CAMHS) Crisis Connect service will be extended, to support children and their families to remain at home while waiting for an appointment with a CAMHS team, through a $19.5 million investment.

The immediate support that Crisis Connect provides reduces the likelihood of children representing to ED and being readmitted into in patient care due to a decline in their mental health.

Since the introduction of the service in July 2020, Perth Children’s Hospital ED mental health attendances have reduced by 10 per cent.

For regional patients, the WA Country Health Service (WACHS) Brief Crisis Intervention Service will be extended, with $4.7 million invested in the State Budget to continue the service to 2025-26.

The WACHS Brief Crisis Intervention service is a telehealth service supporting children and adolescents to transition out of emergency departments.

It will offer 24-hour, seven days a week specialist ICA mental health advice for regional health professionals – and five days a week virtual post-ED follow up for children, adolescents and their families/carers who have been discharged from a regional ED following a mental health related presentation.

Mental Health Minister Amber-Jade Sanderson said supporting the mental health of kids is a priority, and the ICA taskforce reforms were a key component to support the wellbeing of young people.

“We are committed to the delivery of intensive community-based treatment for children in crisis, keeping more children out of hospital and offering better support for families and carers.

“All areas have reported a large increase in children presenting to an emergency department with a mental health-related condition, but we are expanding support services to keep kids out of hospital.”

Privately owned, proudly independent local news service.

ALL IMAGES & WORDS © 2023 Echo Newspaper
linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram