Community teams are where most people will be referred. The first step is to meet with a clinician so that they can understand the problems you’re having, and provide an accurate assessment of your situation.
What does assessment involve?
An assessment is where you, and if possible, your family, meet with a clinician (sometimes two clinicians attend) who will attempt to find out what exactly is going on. The clinician will ask you and your family lots of questions about what’s been happening, what has happened in the past, what you think the problem is and will get you to fill out a questionnaire. The clinician will probably spend time with you and your family as a whole, alone with just your parents, and also individual time spent just with you.
The assessment may take up to 2 or 3 hours, which can be done in one session or might be spread over three visits.
Our clinicians are trained in different kinds of mental health care. Because of this, they will discuss your case as a team and make a decision about the best treatment to offer you. Another appointment will be arranged to meet with you and your family to discuss what options are available. A treatment plan, known as a Treatment and Recovery Plan, will be written with your input. This outlines what your goals are for working with the service, and how the service will work with you to overcome any difficulties.
What kinds of treatment are there?
Your clinician might recommend one of the following kinds of treatment, or sometimes a combination of different treatments. Not all young people we see will be offered treatment by us. Some may be referred to other more appropriate services.
- Individual treatment/case management. This involves meeting regularly with a clinician (your case manager) to talk things through. What you say in these sessions is confidential and cannot be discussed with anyone else without your permission, except where someone might be in danger of getting hurt.
- Parent counselling. Sometimes parents need extra support to cope with what’s happening. Parent counselling is a chance for them to discuss how things are affecting them, and learn skills to handle things in more positive ways.
- Family counselling. In these sessions a young person and their family have the opportunity to discuss their thoughts and feelings with the support of clinicians. The clinicians have the chance to see how your family get along, and can then offer feedback to you on what they’ve observed.
- Group work. We also run groups in which young people can work on their issues with others who are having similar experiences.
- Referral to a specialist program. There are a number of specialist programs available.
- Medication. Some illnesses respond well to the use of medication. If you are prescribed medication, it will become just one part of your overall treatment plan. Information about the medication, how it works, and any side effects to look out for, will be provided.