Complementary primary mental health programs for young people in Australia: access to Allied Psychological Services (ATAPS) and headspace

Bassilios, Bridget, Telford, Nicolas, Rickwood, Debra, Spittal, Matthew J. and Pirkis, Jane (2017) Complementary primary mental health programs for young people in Australia: access to Allied Psychological Services (ATAPS) and headspace. International Journal of Mental Health Systems, 11 1: . doi:10.1186/s13033-017-0125-7


Author Bassilios, Bridget
Telford, Nicolas
Rickwood, Debra
Spittal, Matthew J.
Pirkis, Jane
Title Complementary primary mental health programs for young people in Australia: access to Allied Psychological Services (ATAPS) and headspace
Journal name International Journal of Mental Health Systems   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1752-4458
Publication date 2017-02-10
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1186/s13033-017-0125-7
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 11
Issue 1
Total pages 11
Place of publication London, United Kingdom
Publisher BioMed Central
Collection year 2018
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Objective: Access to Allied Psychological Services (ATAPS) was introduced in 2001 by the Australian Government to provide evidence-based psychological interventions for people with high prevalence disorders. headspace, Australia's National Youth Mental Health Foundation, was established in 2006 to promote and facilitate improvements in the mental health, social wellbeing and economic participation of young people aged 12-25 years. Both programs provided free or low cost psychological services. This paper aims to describe the uptake of psychological services by people aged 12-25 years via ATAPS and headspace, the characteristics of these clients, the types of services received and preliminary client outcomes achieved.

Methods: Data from 1 July 2009 to 30 June 2012 were sourced from the respective national web-based minimum datasets used for routine data collection in ATAPS and headspace.

Results: In total, 20,156 and 17,337 young people accessed two or more psychological services via ATAPS and headspace, respectively, in the 3-year analysis period. There were notable differences between the clients of, and the services delivered by, the programs. ATAPS clients were less likely to be male (31 vs 39%) and to reside in major cities (51 vs 62%) than headspace clients; ATAPS clients were also older (18-21 vs 15-17 years modal age group). There was some variation in the number and types of psychological sessions that young people received via the programs but the majority received at least one session of cognitive behavioural therapy. Based on limited available outcome data, both programs appear to have produced improvements in clients' mental health; specifically, psychological distress as assessed by the Kessler-10 (K-10) was reduced.

Conclusions: ATAPS and headspace have delivered free or low-cost psychological services to 12-25 year olds with somewhat different characteristics. Both programs have had promising effects on mental health. ATAPS and headspace have operated in a complementary fashion to fill a service gap for young people.
Keyword Adolescents
Mental health policy
Mental health services
Primary health care
Young people
Youth
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: HERDC Pre-Audit
School of Public Health Publications
 
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