MercyCare / News / Amber provides safety net for young people falling through the gaps

Amber provides safety net for young people falling through the gaps

“The strength of Amber lies in our skilled and committed staff who work directly with clients. There have been some excellent outcomes for the young people,” Family and Community Services Executive Director Jennie Burns said.

Amber includes a multi-disciplinary team that provide support to young people 12-25 years of age living in Perth’s North who are experiencing complex psychosocial needs that have a significant impact on their everyday functioning and can be supported in a community setting.

The young people have experienced significant barriers to accessing support and typically do not engage in mental health services but are looking for support and want to improve their mental health and wellbeing.

The Amber team has worked hard in building strong partnerships with the community and youth sector to benefit young people, as well as targeting its referral process.

The team has also been able to increase support to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people; young people not engaged in education, training or employment; Culturally and Linguistically Diverse young people; young people living with a disability; and young people who identify as LGBTQIA+ or questioning.

“We have been able to reflect and learn since launch, fine-tuning our referral process so we are able to support those who have traditionally fallen through the gaps, as well as adapting to the challenges of operating within a pandemic,” Jennie said.

A critical part of the service delivery for Amber has been the employment of Peer Support Workers who have been able to draw upon their lived experiences and utilise their expertise in recovery, role modelling and fostering hope for the young people in the program. As a peer who may have had similar experiences, they are able to bridge the gap with clinical staff.

Group activities, where young people have been able to share stories, have also proven successful.

Results of an Experience of Care survey of clients late last year showed:

  • 100% felt staff showed respect for how they were feeling
  • 100% felt they had opportunities to discuss their support or care needs with staff
  • 100% felt they had their culture, believes and values respected
  • 93% reported the care they received will help them manage their condition better
  • 87% reported they feel their health will improve after the care they received
  • 100% reported they were satisfied with the care received at MercyCare.

For more information about MercyCare’s Amber Youth Wellness, click here.