Engagement with health and social care services: perceptions of homeless young people with mental health problems

Authors

  • Philip Darbyshire RNMH RSCN DipN RNT MN PhD,

    1. Department of Nursing and Midwifery Research and Practice Development, Children, Youth and Women's Health Service, University of South Australia, and Flinders University, Adelaide,
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  • Eimear Muir-Cochrane BSc (Hons) RN RMN Grad Dip Adult Education MNS PhD,

    1. School of Nursing and Midwifery, University of South Australia, Adelaide,
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  • Jennifer Fereday RN RM Dip App Sci (Nsg) BN Med (Mgt) PhD,

    1. Department of Nursing and Midwifery Research and Practice Development, Children, Youth and Women's Health Service, University of South Australia, and Flinders University, Adelaide,
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  • Jon Jureidini BS MB PhD FRANZCP,

    1. Department of Psychological Medicine, Children, Youth and Women's Health Service, University of Adelaide, Adelaide and 4Streetlink Youth Health Service, Uniting Care Wesley Adelaide Inc., Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
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  • Andrew Drummond Narrative Family Therapist Certificate

    1. Department of Nursing and Midwifery Research and Practice Development, Children, Youth and Women's Health Service, University of South Australia, and Flinders University, Adelaide,
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Philip Darbyshire Department of Nursing and Midwifery Research and Practice Development Children, Youth and Women's Health Service University of South Australia Level 2 Samuel Way Building 72 King William Road North Adelaide South Australia 5006 Australia E-mail: philip.darbyshire@adelaide.edu.au

Abstract

The present qualitative study describes and discusses the perspectives and experiences of young homeless people with mental health problems in relation to their interactions with health and social care services. Working in partnership with Streetlink, a supported accommodation assistance programme in Adelaide, Australia, the authors interviewed 10 homeless young people, aged from 16 to 24 years of age, who had experienced mental health problems. In-depth interviews elicited accounts of the best and worst of the participants’ experiences of health and social care services. Access to services was not identified as being a significant problem in comparison with the participants’ concerns regarding the quality of the services encountered. The central findings stress the importance of a respectful and supportive climate in relation to the qualities of service provision that the young people identified as valuable for their continuing treatment or consultation.

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