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Keywords:

  • adolescence;
  • health knowledge;
  • mental health service;
  • therapy

Abstract

Aims

Historically, the Australian health system has failed to meet the needs of young people with mental health problems and mental illness. In 2006, New South Wales (NSW) Health allocated considerable funds to the reform agenda of mental health services in NSW to address this inadequacy. Children and Young People's Mental Health (CYPMH), a service that provides mental health care for young people aged 12–24 years, with moderate to severe mental health problems, was chosen to establish a prototype Youth Mental Health (YMH) Service Model for NSW. This paper describes nine key principles developed by CYPMH to guide the development of YMH Service Models in NSW.

Methods

A literature review, numerous stakeholder consultations and consideration of clinical best practice were utilized to inform the development of the key principles.

Results

Subsequent to their development, the nine key principles were formally endorsed by the Mental Health Program Council to ensure consistency and monitor the progress of YMH services across NSW. As a result, between 2008 and 2012 YMH Services across NSW regularly reported on their activities against each of the nine key principles demonstrating how each principle was addressed within their service.

Conclusions

The nine key principles provide mental health services a framework for how to reorient services to accommodate YMH and provide a high-quality model of care.

[Corrections added on 29 November 2013, after first online publication: The last two sentences of the Results section have been replaced with "As a result, between 2008 and 2012 YMH Services across NSW regularly reported on their activities against each of the nine key principles demonstrating how each principle was addressed within their service."]