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Mater has officially opened its new Emotional Health Unit; the first service of its kind in Queensland dedicated to young people aged 16 to 25 experiencing mental illness.
The Emotional Health Unit—part of the Mater Young Adult Health Centre Brisbane—comprises a private inpatient ward called the Amanda Flynn Clinic, as well as a Recovery College and consulting suites, all caring for young adults who suffer from anxiety, depression and other mental health conditions.
The unit was officially opened by His Excellency the Honourable Paul de Jersey AC Governor of Queensland on Thursday 20 June.
The Emotional Health Unit was established thanks to the generosity of Mr Peter Flynn of the Amanda Flynn Foundation who gifted Mater $5.5 million.
Mater Young Adult Health Centre Brisbane Director A/Prof Simon Denny said the Emotional Health Unit, which caters for both inpatients and outpatients, filled a gap in the mental health care services offered to young people in South East Queensland.
"Unfortunately, 75 per cent of mental health conditions emerge between the ages of 16 to 25 years and suicide is the leading cause of death in young people.
"We also know that the transition from paediatric to young adult mental health care isn’t always seamless for patients.
"This is why the Emotional Health Unit has been established, to deliver specialist evidence-based and consumer driven mental health care to young adults.
"The unit provides another option for young people, needing to access care and treatment within a dedicated facility for young people."
Young adult patient Kelsie Dummett has been treated for a chronic immune condition at Mater for some time, and has experienced mental health challenges associated with regular hospital stays.
Kelsie is thrilled the Emotional Health Unit is now open to young people like her.
"I didn’t fit in the adult category or the children’s ward. When I looked for emotional support, I found it challenging and I was quite isolated as a result.
"I would have benefited from the Emotional Health Unit when I was younger as I was going through so many changes," she said.
A/Prof Denny said the Emotional Health Unit added to a comprehensive suite of services dedicated to young people within Mater Young Adult Health Centre Brisbane, treating patients with a range of medical conditions.
"The Amanda Flynn Clinic allows young people to spend up to two weeks receiving treatment for their condition with the support of their peers, while also having access to recovery focused day programs held at the Recovery College.
"The Recovery College is open to all young people who require tools to overcome their mental health conditions, as well as their family members who support them.
"The Recovery College is a new concept for Queensland and it offers educational programs to assist young people to develop skills to manage their mental health issues. The content is evidence-based and specific to young people with a strong focus on recovery.
"There will also be modules that family members can take part in so they can adopt strategies to best support their loved ones," A/Prof Denny said.
While the unit is a private service, young people who are non-insured are welcome to contact the team to discuss whether the service suits their needs.
If a young person requires further assitance, they will be linked with other agencies that offer services to uninsured patients.