A SPECIALIST youth mental health unit at Fiona Stanley Hospital is finally operating at full capacity, with all 14 beds now open, two years after the unit was established.
The dedicated mental health unit for people aged 16 to 24 years started out with just eight of the promised 14 beds.
It is the only unit of its kind in the state.
On Sunday, November 20, two ministers announced the opening of “an additional six beds”.
Mental Health Minister Andrea Mitchell said the beds would provide better access.
“Between 16 and 24 can be a challenging phase of life for many people and is when the majority of mental health issues begin to emerge,” she said.
Health Minister John Day said clinicians worked closely with schools and other organisations to provide early assessment and treatment to reduce the need to attend hospital.
The unit provides short to medium term inpatient care and treatment for people who are experiencing severe episodes of mental illness and cannot be adequately managed in the community.
Young people can self-refer to the Youth Community Assessment and Treatment Team by calling 6152 7999 or can referred by their GP or a community support organisation.
– 75 per cent of mental illnesses first occur between the ages of 16 and 25 years
– In its first six months the YCATT had 148 referrals, diverted 32 young people from being admitted to mental health units and facilitated early discharge for 35 people
– Mental health disorders affect about 26 per cent of young Australians each year