New mental health programs to support vulnerable youth at risk of suicide
Flinders University 2020
Researchers: PROFESSOR TRACEY WADE, LAURA EDNEY, NATASHA WOOD AND SUSAN NUM
Breakthrough and the James and Diana Ramsay Foundation jointly funded a multi-year research project for a group therapy program aimed at young people who have engaged in self-harm and suicidality, focused on psychological therapies including Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT).
The parent and young person DBT 24-week group therapy program focuses on helping young people who experience difficulties regulating their emotions, with support from their parent or carer.
This program aims to increase skills in mindfulness, improve tolerance of difficult situations and emotional pain, focus on mood management and strengthening family and other relationships.
Of those who commence the parent/child DBT group, 75% fully completed the 6-month DBT program.
The DBT program has been so successful that SA Health has since included it as part of its mainstream youth mental health services, meaning it is free to access and does not have waitlists. Additionally, the senior clinician position, which oversees the program, is now funded by SA Health and a permanent position is expected to be appointed in the coming months.