Amber Youth Wellness Program

Providing support for young people to function better, improve mental wellness and relationships

We acknowledge that accessing support can be difficult for some young people. With our Amber Youth Wellness Program, we aim to make the process as friendly and easy as possible.

We offer a free outreach service to young people 12-25 years old and their families:

  • With complex psychosocial needs or facing significant life challenges
  • Who are looking for help to function better, improve their mental wellness and relationships

We can provide:

  • Counselling and other psychological expertise
  • Youth workers to help with other life challenges
  • Peer workers and group activities
  • Access to a Medical Consultant for additional support

Mental health support shouldn’t be something that’s done to you. With Amber Youth, you get to have an active role and a choice to be involved in planning a path that will work for you.

We promise to:

  • Use regular language (call us out if we don’t)
  • See you as a person and take your experiences seriously
  • Listen to your story
  • Give you options at every stage
  • Work with you on what you want
  • Fit around any other services and supports you already have

We also understand that different cultures have different ways to understand wellness and mental health, and we will work with this.

Almost all the young people we see have the same dilemma.

If you seek help early, you can stop it getting worse. The longer you wait to get help, the worse the impact on your life and relationships could be.

How do I know if its bad enough? If you answer yes to any of these:

  • You feel like something isn’t right
  • You have asked someone if this is normal or searched online and still have questions
  • It is impacting your life and relationships
  • You want to feel better so that you can get on with your life

How to reach out

  • SMS or call us on 1800 800 046 or email us at amberYW@mercycare.com.au. We can help you work out if our service is right for you
  • We will get back to you within our service hours of Monday to Friday, 9am – 5pm
  • Talk to a parent, teacher or school psych
  • Talk to a youth worker, headspace worker, GP or other helping professional

We offer a free outreach service to young people 12-25 years old and their families:

  • With complex psychosocial needs or facing significant life challenges
  • Who are looking for help to function better, improve their mental wellness and relationships

Myth: It’s not bad enough. I shouldn’t seek help until it gets really bad.

Fact: The longer you wait to seek help, the worse the long term outcomes could be. It is best to seek help early. The sooner you get help, the sooner you can start your recovery journey.

Myth: It’s just in your head. You can choose to stop worrying and stop thinking about it at will.

Fact: Mental ill health is as real as any other physical illness or injury and needs proper care to manage it and recover well.

Myth: Mental illnesses are all the same. People who share the same diagnosis will have the same experience of mental illness.

Fact: There are many types of mental illnesses and many kinds of symptoms and effects. Even though a particular mental illness will tend to show a certain range of symptoms, not everyone will experience the same symptoms. A diognosis will tell you a little about a person’s ability and personal characteristics. 

Myth: Mental illness is a life sentence. There is no hope for recovery.

Fact: Mental illness is very common. There are many supports, treatments and community services available. Most people will recover differently and go onto live full and productive lives. People can function well and live active healthy lives even with complex mental health conditions. Many successful people have a mental health condition.

Myth: People with mental illness are violent or dangerous.

Fact: Many violent people have no history of mental illness and most people with a history of mental illness have no history of violence. People with a mental illness are much more likely to be victims of crime that the perpetrators of it.

Myth: Mental health difficulties are caused by the same thing. 

Fact: Mental health difficulties occur due to a complex combination of factors. These may be biological (due to a history of mental health difficulties), psychological (for example, trauma, loss or neglect) and/or envionmental (for example, stress, money problems, social pressure, substance use, diet, sleep or other reasons).

Myth: Non-qualified people cannot help people with a mental health difficulty.

Fact: Friends and family can offer important help and support. When family and friends speak and act positively to someone with a mental health difficulty, they create an environment that builds on their strengths and promotes understanding and respect.

We can help you work on your mental wellness goals and also the other stressors that impact on you.

We can help you to:

  • Function better
  • Manage your emotions
  • Deal with root causes
  • Give you good coping strategies to handle stress
  • Sort out aspects of your life which are dragging you down

So you can:

  • Get back on your feet
  • Have better relationships
  • Have better overall wellness
  • Enjoy school/work/career
  • Feel happier and healthier

How to make contact

SMS or call us on 1800 800 046, email us at amberYW@mercycare.com.au, or ask a GP or other professional to help you contact us to check we have places available.

What happens next

  1. We’ll contact you within 1 business day to make a time and place for a quick meet and greet (face to face or over the phone). You are welcome to invite a family member or friend along as support.
  2. At the meet and greet you can talk about what’s going on for you and what you are looking for help with. We’ll try to give you something useful to take away from the first session
  3. If it seems like the service could be a good fit, and you choose to continue, we can book another couple of times to catch up and go a bit deeper into where you’re at. We call it an assessment, but it’s not a test. We just want to get a full picture of where you’re at and how best to help.
  4. Over a couple of “assessment” sessions (around 2-3 weeks), we’ll go through some questions together to look at the symptoms you’ve been experiencing, how you’ve been coping and what other factors are going on.
  5. We know you might be feeling anxious about falling through the cracks, so as soon as we have finished this, we’ll get in contact to confirm your place and start with therapeutic sessions and other supports. If it seems like another service will be better able to help you, we’ll introduce you to that service so that you can get started as soon as possible.

From one on one therapeutic sessions to a custom pacakge, our service menu has plenty to for you to choose from.

Download the full menu here

Note, during the current coronavirus pandemic service delivery may look a little different. We are using video technology and phone chats until we can begin certain sessions, like group activities. While the service delivery may look different at times, we are committed to working with you to provide the support you need. 

We outreach to young people in Perth’s Northern Suburbs. Please call us to find out if we outreach to your area.

If you have any questions about whether this service is for you, we encourage you to SMS or call us.

Our team will do their best to find a time to meet up with you when you are in the Northern suburbs.

Consent

Amber Youth Wellness is a voluntary service. Health workers can only provide treatment to young people who give consent. This is something we will ask a young person when they attend.

If you are under 18: A legal guardian is the appropriate person to give consent to access our service. However, in many cases, young people 16 and above are able to consent without parental permission. If you are under 16 and your parents aren’t willing to give permission to receive mental health support, you can still speak to a youth worker or check out some of the free online mental health tools and forums. Speak to us if family involvement is a barrier for you.

If you are over 18: You are able to provide consent for your own treatment. However we will work with you to involve your family and friends in ways that they are comfortable with and that are likely to be beneficial to your wellbeing.

If you would like a copy of our consent policy, please speak to one of our staff.

Confidentiality

When you speak to an Amber Youth Wellness worker, nothing you say can be passed on to anyone else without your permission, unless you:

  1. Are at serious or imminent risk of harming yourself or someone else
  2. Are at risk of being harmed by others
  3. Have committed a serious crime

If we have to tell someone about any of the things above, we will let you know about this first. We will chat about who we must tell, what information we tell them and discuss any concerns you may have. We won’t share confidential information with people in the community.

If we have to ask parents for permission to engage with supports, it doesn’t mean we will automatically tell your parents everything you say in a session. We will still respect your right to confidentiality.

Transparency

You are an equal partner in this journey. You have the right to see any case notes or assessments we do. You have the right to be in shared care planning meetings about your care.

What can I do while I am waiting for an appointment?

We understand that it is sometimes hard to know what to do while you are waiting for an appointment. Here are some suggestions:

  • Chat with friends and family about what is going on 
  • See your doctor to talk about what’s going on
  • Keep up with favourite activities, or start new activities if you feel up to it
  • Eat well and drink plenty of water
  • Get to bed early and try to get a good night’s sleep
  • Listen to positive feedback from people you respect
  • Spend time with people who love you
  • Turn off your phone, television or computer, or if that’s too hard, switch out content and apps which are causing anxiety for ones which help with mindfulness and feeling grounded
  • Practice gratitude – notice things in life you are grateful for
  • If you like animals, walk the dog, hang out with your cat
  • Try some physical activity. Going for a run or bike ride, playing sport and activities like yoga give us good energy
  • Find a garden or a patch of nature to sit and be still

Self-Care

  • Caring for someone with mental illness can be really hard
  • You are likely going through your own challenges and thought processes
  • Carers need care too — it’s okay to set boundaries for the care you can give, and to prioritise your own physical and mental health

Things to Understand

  • Other people are going through the same experience
  • The earlier help is sought, the less likely the person’s mental health will deteriorate and the sooner the recovery journey can begin
  • You don’t have to fix it
  • However your support is a really important factor to help their recovery
  • There are good reasons to be hopeful about the person being able to get through the worst of it, develop coping strategies and live a good life

How to be helpful

  • Listen and take the person’s experiences and feelings seriously. Don’t dismiss or minimise them. Don’t assume you know what’s going on
  • Don’t blame yourself
  • Don’t make jokes about mental health that could be hurtful
  • Reframe your language to be more insightful and helpful- for example “attention seeking” can also be seen as “connection seeking”. There are some good resources to look at
  • Give the person space to decide if or how they would like to include you in their support circle and be okay that they may change their mind
  • Be mindful that particular times of year may be more stressful, such as holidays, end of school, milestone dates, etc. and that this can have an impact on mental wellness

How we can help

  • We offer family-friendly therapeutic sessions
  • A Family Peer Worker, who has been through similar experiences and can offer support
  • Workshops for parents/carers/friends
  • Referrals for Carer Support Groups
  • Online resources

Finding further support

There are many other people out there who share your experience, and many services designed to help carers of people with mental illness. Here are a few places to find support:

If you need further professional support, you may be eligible for a Mental Health Care Plan (MHCP). A MHCP allows a person to access rebates for mental health care services. To work out whether a MHCP is appropriate for you, please see you local doctor.

The following agencies also provide information and support to family and friends caring for young people. 

National Agencies

beyondblue

beyondblue.org.au 
1300 224 636
Information about supporting someone with depression or anxiety
Online chat & 24/7 phone support

Black Dog Institute

blackdoginstitute.org.au
Information about supporting someone with depression or bipolar disorder

Carers Australia

carersaustralia.com.au
Carer counselling, advice, advocacy, education and training

QLife

qlife.org.au
1800 184 527
Information about supporting people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual, intersex, queer or questioning (LGBTIQQ)
Online chat and phone support

Reachout

reachout.com
Information about supporting young people with mental health difficulties

Sane Australia

sane.org
1800 18(SANE) 7263
Information about helping someone experiencing a mental health crisis
Online chat and phone support

Note: Other than 24/7 lines, some National lines may operate in Eastern States time zones and finish earlier in WA.

State Agencies

Lifeline

lifeline.org.au
13 11 14
Crisis support and suicide prevention services
Online chat and 24/7 phone support

Kids Help Line

kidshelpline.com.au
1800 55 1800
Support for children and young people
Online chat & 24/7 phone support

Parentline

13 22 89
Counselling, information and support for parents and carers

Each

each.com.au
1300 00 3224
Health, disability, counselling and community mental health services

Mental Health Emergency Response

mhc.wa.gov.au/getting-help/helplines/mental-health-response-line/
Metro 1300 555 788
Available 24/7
Assessment, specialist intervention and support for people experiencing a mental health emergency and if required, referral to a local mental health service

Are you a professional looking to refer a young person for wellness support? 

Our wellness services are targeted at young people with complex psychosocial needs or facing significant life challenges or who are looking for help to function better, improve their mental wellness and relationships and are less likely to access mental health services or support. We encourage you to give us a quick call or email first to see if a referral would be a good idea. Once we have the referral form, we’ll make contact within five business days to talk more and make a time to chat with the young person. If there are significant concerns about risk or safety for the young person, please contact crisis services or the local hospital.

If you have already done some early assessment work, we can also use this to help with working out if our services will be a good match for the young person.

It will likely take a few sessions to assess where the young person is at with their wellness and whether Amber Youth Wellness is the best fit for their needs.

We work from a shared care approach, so we are keen to work with existing support services and family/friends, based on what the young person wants. If the service is a good match for the young person, we can arrange a meetup/skype to discuss a shared care plan.

Our priority will be young people 12-25 who are not engaged with any services and/or face barriers in accessing appropriate mental health supports. If we do not have capacity to take on a young person, we are more than open to working in collaboration to find other options.

How to contact us:

To enquire about whether Amber Youth Wellness is open for referrals please contact

Phone: 1800 800 046
Email: amberYW@mercycare.com.au


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