WA Health program for at-risk teens receives national recognition

WA Health program for at-risk teens receives national recognition

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Police Minister Rob Johnson (centre) presenting crime prevention award to MST program manager Mark Porter and Acting Director Community CAMHS Transition South, Adrienne Wills.

Congratulations to members of Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services Multi-systemic Therapy (MST) team who have received national recognition for their work with at-risk teens.

At a special function at Parliament House, Police Minister Rob Johnson presented the program’s manager Mark Porter with a 2011 Australian Crime and Violence Prevention award.

The MST program provides intensive home and community-based interventions to young people with diagnosed conduct disorders who are at high risk of multiple adverse outcomes in adulthood.

Mr Johnson said the national awards acknowledged and encouraged public initiatives in the prevention and reduction of violence and other types of crime in Australia.

“Crime is a complex problem and crime-related social problems are not simply matters for control or repression. Their nature, causes and cures have no institutional boundaries and effective interventions often need to combine a range of inputs from a variety of stakeholders,” he said.

The award is the second major accolade for the MST program in the past year. It also collected the Award for Excellence in Prevention and Community Education at the National Drug and Alcohol Awards.

A key focus of the MST program is the home-based intervention that helps equip participants’ parents with the skills to problem solve and better manage their child’s behaviours.

The program has been highly effective in keeping participants at school, living at home with their families, and out of the juvenile justice system.

A recent US study estimated the value of saving a high-risk 14 year old from a life of crime to be between $2.6 million and $5.3 million.

You can read more about this important WA Health initiative in the Autumn issue of Healthview

For further information or to submit a story idea, please contact communications@health.wa.gov.au