Ramsay Health Care is expanding its mental health services with a new $3 million partnership focused on treating adolescent and youth patients, along with a growing group of community-based psychology clinics.
Australia’s largest private hospital operator has teamed up with New South Wales Health in a Public Private Partnership to cater for 14-to-24-year-olds in South Western Sydney.
For a 12-month trial period, it will provide three inpatient beds and three new day programs at Ramsay Clinic Macarthur, aimed at young people experiencing complex trauma, eating disorders and certain mood and anxiety disorders.
“Unfortunately recent data shows youth and adolescents are overrepresented in emergency department admissions for complex disorders including deliberate self-harm,” Ramsay Clinic Macarthur CEO Natalie King said.
Two of the programs use Targeted Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT), a conversational method, specifically developed for the youth (18-24 years) and adolescent (14-17 years) age groups.
“Through individual sessions with a trained mental health clinician, and including a parent/carer for adolescents, we discuss strong emotions and their impacts with an aim of reducing unhelpful behaviours and feelings,” Ms King said.
Anne Mortimer, Director of Ramsay Mental Health, said the group – which operates 23 units across five states – would use its expertise to help early identification and treatment of at-risk adolescents.
“We know young people are at risk of significant mood and anxiety disorders and they have a much higher prevalence of eating disorders than the general population, so the sooner we can help them, the better,” she said.
Meanwhile, Ramsay Health Care plans to open 20 more psychology clinics outside of hospitals in the next two years.
Ramsay Psychology has already launched 11 clinics in the past year, across eight cities in New South Wales and Queensland, with the high demand of nearly 10,000 consultations.
Ramsay Australia CEO Carmel Monaghan said the group’s long history of mental health services – founder Paul Ramsay opened his first psychiatry hospital in Sydney almost 60 years ago – had put it in a strong position to react to rising demand for community-based care.
“Given the growing need for mental health care accelerated by COVID, we saw a need to extend our mental health service provision beyond the hospital walls and into the community,” she said.
Most of the new clinics are opening in and around Ramsay’s acute hospital services, providing continuity of support and improved long-term outcomes for patients.
“Taking our expertise into the community allows an individual with a mental health need to access help before their situation escalates and reduces the risk of an inpatient admission,” Ms Monaghan said.
“Our community practices can provide care for all mental health concerns including those associated with mood, anxiety, substance misuse, eating disorders and PTSD. Our practices can also provide psychometric testing for cognitive impairment, attention deficit disorder and other behavioural disorders.”
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