The adolescent unit, which caters for adolescents up to the age of 18 years and their parents/caregivers, aims to provide help and relief for adolescents suffering from psychiatric disorders such as depression, bipolar mood disorder, substance abuse, mild personality difficulties or other associated adjustment problems.
The multi-disciplinary treatment team comprises professionals with a specialist interest and expertise in adolescent development and psychiatry, and includes psychiatrists, registered nurses, psychologists, occupational and family therapists and social workers.
Because of the sensitivities in dealing with under-age patients, pre-admission of any individual to the adolescent unit is undertaken by two treating professionals. No patients may be admitted to the unit after hours.
Therapeutic programme in the adolescent unit
The treatment programme in the adolescent unit is a holistic one which focuses on treating the individual adolescent patient in the context of his or her various environments including family, school, friends and community.
The programme consists of a combination of individual therapy, group therapy, family therapy, skills development, mindfulness, therapeutic relaxation, leisure/social activities and regular exercise. Homework activities are also incorporated to reduce the negative impact of being absent from school.
The therapeutic aims in the adolescent unit, in accordance with the objectives of the dialectical behaviour therapy model, are to assist young people in developing skills to tolerate overwhelming feelings, reduce impulsive acting out (particularly those that are self-harming), regulate emotions and sustain healthy relationships. The multi-disciplinary treatment team assists the patients to define their life goals and purpose, and find ways to reach them effectively.