Home' GP Pulse : GP Pulse June 2013 Contents Features
ISSUE 24 : June 2013 : P9
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Youth One-Stop Shops meet the wider needs of young people
Youth One-Stop Shops (YOSS) are free community services that provide for not only the physical and sexual health needs of
young people, but also their mental health and social needs, such as housing, budgeting, and help with training and employment.
They are driven by a focus on positive youth
development. At the heart of each service is
a youth development, strengths-based model
that emphasises the importance of belonging
and young people’s connections to their
communities, families, schools and peers. They
focus on fostering resilience and supporting
young people to make positive decisions.
YOSS have evolved in part to meet the needs
of young people that may not be met through
mainstream primary health services.
Dr Tania Pinfold, who is Clinical Leader of
Rotovegas Youth Health in Rotorua, says,
‘Health services for young people in primary
care in New Zealand are most commonly
delivered by GPs, but we know young people
often don’t seek health care in mainstream
services for a number of reasons.
‘Young people have problems accessing doctor
services when they can’t afford a GP and they
want more confidentiality, a youth-specific
service or need primary mental health care.
Sometimes they don’t believe GP care is
confidential, so this is important learning for
young people. In school holidays, and for those
who have left school, there are usually no
services they can access easily.
‘It’s easy to overlook the particular needs of
young people in general practice, and miss
important opportunities to make a difference.
Some particular skills are needed and can be
learned. These include effective engagement,
communication, psychosocial history-taking,
and supporting young people through normal
‘YOSS are keen to work alongside their local
general practices to give young people the
widest possible range of options for accessing
health services. An important part of what
we do is supporting young people to become
effective users of mainstream services.’
The Werry Centre will be delivering
HEeADSSS assessment training to the
primary health workforce in the coming
months, including GPs. The HEeADSSS
assessment tool is widely used across the
health sector for the early identification of
mental health, alcohol and other drug use, and
other concerns for young people. Part of the
training includes developing an e-learning tool
that will complement HEeADSSS training
workshops, while also being a standalone
Mental Health and Growing Up: Factsheets
for parents, teachers and young people
Edited by the Royal College of Psychiatrists’ Child and Family Public Education Board
Reviewed by Dr Sharon Leitch
This book of photocopy-ready factsheets
will provide a useful resource for every GP.
The first par t contains factsheets for young
people, while the greater par t is devoted to
factsheets for parents, carers and anyone
who works with young people. Many topics
are covered with separate factsheets for
both the young person and those who
The factsheets cover a broad scope of
mental health issues. Topics include mental
health disorders, such as bipolar disorder,
schizophrenia, psychosis, anxiety and
depression, self-harm, ADHD, autism and
Asperger’s syndrome. Lifestyle issues are
also addressed, such as drug and alcohol use,
exercise and eating disorders. Educational
issues include learning difficulties and bullying.
Parenting themes are explored: dealing
with tantrums, toileting, sleep problems and
behavioural problems. More difficult parenting
themes are covered, including divorce and
separation, death in the family, traumatic
stress in children, domestic violence, and child
abuse and neglect. Other factsheets discuss
developing resilience, dealing with parental
mental illness, coping with chronic physical
illness and chronic fatigue.
Each factsheet clearly explains the
problem, symptoms, effects, treatment,
self-management strategies, and how to
get help. Side-bars include a summary
of the information, and personal stories
from either young people or their parents.
Recommended reading ranges from books
to tex tbooks and academic ar ticles.
These factsheets are easy to read and
understand. The language is simple, and
medical terms are explained clearly. It is
easy to find information quickly with the
straightforward presentation. The stories
add a personal dimension, and will help
facilitate understanding of the condition
described. The stories may also decrease
the sense of isolation often associated with
a mental-health diagnosis. However, there
are no pictures.
This book will be ex tremely useful for anyone
working with young people or their families.
It provides a wealth of evidence-based
information, which is difficult to find in a single
resource elsewhere. I know my copy will
receive a great deal of use.
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