Youth mental health service provision is a rapidly developing field of practice. This reflects increasing recognition of the high incidence of mental health problems in young people and that the onset of most mental disorders occurs before the age of 25 years.1 In Australia, 19% of people aged 13–17 years and 27% of those aged 18–24 years experience a mental health disorder.2
Given the high prevalence of mental
health and/or substance use problems
in young people, an assessment
interview that assists clinicians to
engage with young people and assess
their psychosocial needs is essential.
Currently, there are few assessment
tools for this purpose.
To describe the rationale and process of
extending a psychosocial assessment
interview to assist clinicians in assessing
the full range of mental health disorders
common in young people.
The ‘headspace’ assessment interview
is designed to assist engagement while
assessing psychosocial and mental
health problems. It can be used by
a range of clinicians in primary care
settings for the purposes of developing
treatment or referral options. To date,
as part of a national clinical service
platform, the interview has been
used with over 2000 young people.
A preliminary process evaluation
indicated that the interview is perceived
to have utility and acceptability
among the clinicians who are using
it in their practice to assess young
people’s mental health problems and
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