In 2018, the Office of the Chief Psychiatrist commenced a review of Youth Mental Health Services (YMHS) in South Australia. The Review site visits ran from 11 October 2018 to 12 February 2019, with a total of eight (8) services visited
The terms of the review were as follows:
- Consider the guiding principles of the Mental Health Act 2009 (the Act), and be authorised under the powers of the Chief Psychiatrist.
- Observe and report on the current delivery of Youth Mental Health Services across a number of service sites in South Australia representative of each Local Health Network.
- Focus on Youth Mental Health Service standards and quality, now and in the future using the Office's statutory powers.
- Use inspection powers to determine the levels and quality of service. An interstate youth psychiatrist will assist in undertaking inspections of youth mental health services.
- Recommendations from visits to each service will be fed back to each service.
As part of this review, assistance was sought from Associate Professor Alessandra Radovini, Director, Mindful – centre for training and research in developmental health, Department of Psychiatry, The University of Melbourne. Associate Professor Radovini is a senior psychiatrist who has previously been the Chief Child Psychiatrist in the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services , Office of the Chief Psychiatrist [ 2009-2011] and the Clinical Director, National Office, headspace National Youth Mental Health Foundation [2012-2016].
Associate Professor Dr Alessandra Radovini has made four (4) key findings detailed in the report;
- A Youth Model of Mental Health Service Provision has not been implemented in South Australia
- A passionate and committed workforce is doing its best
- There is significant workforce dissatisfaction with current arrangements
- There is a lack of ongoing training and issues with workforce recruitment and retention.
Consideration of these findings and ways to address them, has been incorporated into the South Australian Mental Health Services Plan 2020-2025.