Shannon* is a 14 year old girl from a culturally and linguistically diverse background. When she was referred to Outcare she had a history of self-harm, violence towards others, substance abuse and was living on the streets. Shannon had little family or peer support, no financial support and had not been in school for over a year. Her mental health issues were going untreated largely because she had disengaged with any services offered by the Department of Child Protection and Family Support.
Shannon was referred to Outcare via the Links program. The Links program provides therapeutic support to children aged 10 to 18 with mental health issues (these do not have to be formally diagnosed) who have pleaded guilty to their charges in the Children’s Court. The program is voluntary, and clients are assigned a Community Support Coordinator to provide them with the services and supports they need. Outcare Community Support Coordinators work with a clinical team based at the Children’s Court and liaise with any and all external stakeholders surrounding the young person.
Shannon’s Community Support Coordinator initially organised emergency relief through the Links program which provided her with food and clothing and then worked with her on a daily basis to earn her trust. By providing Shannon with psychosocial supports her Coordinator helped to build her resilience and coping skills. Because of Outcare’s support, Shannon has now re-engaged with the services she needs, is receiving mental health treatment and is living in a hostel. She is working to get her life back on track.
*Name has been changed for personal reasons