Objective: Targeted, highly accessible early intervention for youths with emerging and complex psychiatric presentations is increasingly needed. The Youth Community Assessment and Treatment Team (YCATT) multidisciplinary service was established to provide intensive intervention for youths in Perth, Australia. Methods: The authors conducted a retrospective evaluation to examine YCATT's impact on emergency department (ED) visits, psychiatric inpatient admissions, and provision of care for youths in the transition period between adolescent and adult psychiatric services. Demographic, clinical, and service utilization data for all referrals over the pilot period (2016-2017) were collected and analyzed with descriptive statistics. Results: During the pilot period, 308 referrals were accepted. All referred youths had a trauma history and presented with acute or complex conditions, and most (66%) were between 16 and 18 years old. The admission rate to a psychiatric inpatient unit was,7%. Of 61 youths specifically referred to YCATT as an alternative to psychiatric admission, 90% were successfully diverted from psychiatric or ED admission. After discharge from YCATT, youths had improved scores on the Health of the Nations Outcome Scale and 10-item Kessler Psychological Distress Scale. Conclusions: These findings suggest that YCATT is an accessible and effective service for the population of transitionage youths. It appears that YCATT, in collaboration with other community services, contributed to diverting psychiatric inpatient admissions, facilitated outpatient treatment, and enabled continuity of care for vulnerable youths. The results underscore the need for more accessible, individualized treatment approaches for youths who transition to adulthood.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Psychiatry and Mental health