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Youth mental health ward a vital feature of new Western Australia hospital

3 Jul 2014, by Informa Insights

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The new Fiona Stanley Hospital, set to open in Western Australia next year, will feature a state first – a mental health unit specially geared towards meeting the needs of young patients.

At an unveiling at the end of June, Mental Health Minister Helen Morton revealed that a dedicated 14-bed Youth Unit (YoU) will help to provide specialist mental health care for patients between the ages of 16 and 24. With the opening of the new facility, clinicians will be able to provide tailored, age-appropriate care and therapy for Australian youths with mental illnesses.

Ms Morton explained that providing this level of specialised care is crucial, given that many mental disorders begin to emerge between the years of 16 and 24 and appropriate early treatment is essential.

“This service is designed to meet the specific needs of young people,” she said.

“Having specialist skills and a solid understanding of the developmental journey of young people will allow for early intervention to help get young people back on track sooner, as well as better supporting their families.”

In addition, the hospital’s mental health unit will also provide eight beds for mothers and babies.

According to the Western Australian government, mental health disorders affect more than a quarter (26 per cent) of young Australians in any given year. Such conditions are most commonly found among young people aged 16 to 24.

Additionally, three-quarters of all mental conditions begin before the age of 24, with symptoms these illnesses first coming to light between these ages.

Fiona Stanley Hospital, which is worth $2 billion, is expected to open its doors in February 2015 and will be a vital addition to health services in Western Australia, particularly in the mental health department.

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