2 July 2019

Construction of Children’s Health Queensland’s new statewide adolescent mental health extended treatment centre, the first of its kind in Australia, is progressing well and on track to open in early 2020.

The roof of the $27 million centre, located on the campus of The Prince Charles Hospital campus at Chermside in Brisbane, is now complete and the focus of construction activity will now turn to internal fit out.

The purpose-built centre will have 12 residential beds alongside a 10-place day program delivered in partnership with the Department of Education.

This new service is designed for young people aged between 13 and 18 years who have severe and complex mental illness with associated functional decline, and who may have previously accessed multiple services along the mental health continuum.

Young people up to 21 years may be treated at the centre if they have developmental needs more effectively managed within an adolescent model.

The centre’s multi-disciplinary team will provide mental health care integrated with educational and vocational training for young people in a safe and therapeutic setting that has been co-designed with consumers and carers to ensure the best possible family-centred care.

The focus will be on supporting young people who want to develop skills in maintaining the activities of daily living, and ultimately transition back into their local community.

Referrals to the centre will be accepted from community-based child and youth mental health services across Queensland.

Young people who access this service will not be acutely unwell. Any young person with acute symptoms will continue to be managed in adolescent inpatient mental health units.

The statewide residential service will provide 24-hour mental health care to young people, in a safe, therapeutic, inclusive, culturally-sensitive, and supportive environment for a period of up to six months, with flexibility depending on their individual needs and circumstances.

In line with Children’s Health Queensland’s commitment to family-centred care, the centre also includes two family accommodation units, so families and carers can stay at the centre and be involved in the care of their child.

The day program service provides an alternative to inpatient admission for young people with severe and complex mental health issues, forming part of the child and youth mental health service continuum of care designed to provide treatment in the least restrictive environment possible.

Young people aged 13-18 years will be able to attend the day program up to five days per week, while continuing to live at home and remain engaged in their local community.

The ultimate aim of the service is to provide support to young people so that they develop life skills, attend regular schooling or vocational training, and reconnect with their family and local community.

The development of the adolescent extended treatment service has been an inclusive co-design process with consumers (past and present), parents, and carers.  Consumers, parents and carers are also being invited to participate in aspects of fitting out the centre and the recruitment of staff who will work at the centre.

The new service will be one element in the continuum of mental health services for young people in Queensland, including existing community child and youth health services, Assertive Mobile Youth Outreach Services (AMYOS), Youth Residential Rehabilitation Units, Step Up Step Down Units (SUSDUs), and Acute Mental Health Inpatient Units.

The latest construction updates and pictures of the new centre can be viewed here.

Expressions of interest in working at the centre are currently being sought – register your interest at www.childrens.health.qld.gov.au/chq/work-for-us/opportunities-in-new-adolescent-mental-health-service/