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Mental health and therapeutic support recommendations

The Review made 83 recommendations. These have been sorted into work programs for implementation.

Our objectives

To provide young people in detention with mental health and therapeutic services that support:

  • safety
  • wellbeing
  • rehabilitation.

The way forward

To achieve this we will:

  • strengthen and expand our health and therapeutic services
  • build staff capacity to identify and respond to emotional/psychological harm and mental health issues
  • communicate better with families about their child’s suicide risk, and emotional/psychological harm
  • establish governance arrangements to collaborate and coordinate health and therapeutic services at the local level.


Recommendation 21 (status: in progress)

The Review recommends that consultation with external stakeholders should be undertaken in the development of programs for young people with disabilities and/or learning difficulties. (9.R5)

Recommendation 44 (status: in progress)

The Review recommends that there should be commonality between the definition of harm under the Child Protection Act 1999 and the Youth Justice Act 1992 and it should include an unacceptable risk of harm. (15.R1)

Recommendation 45 (status: in progress)

The Review recommends that there should be specialised, ongoing training to youth detention staff to assist them in identifying signs of emotional and psychological harm of a young person, as well as how institutionalised practices can cause or trigger significant harm to a young person.

The training should be provided by representatives from the Mental Health, Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Drugs Services (MHATODS). (It is understood there is currently no ongoing training on this issue). (15.R2)

Recommendation 46 (status: in progress)

The Review recommends that harm reporting obligations should be subject to annual refresher training for all youth detention centre staff. (15.R3)

Recommendation 47 (status: in progress)

The Review recommends that all records of SR1 in ICMS should provide detailed information of the specific management of suicide risk and behaviour, detailing specific pro-active interventions, as a means of ensuring transparency and accountability between relevant government departments. (15.R4)

Recommendation 48 (status: in progress)

The Review recommends that the SR1 in ICMS should be relayed to CHQ Statewide MHS to ensure that appropriately skilled mental health practitioners are aware of the incident and risk alert and can assist where appropriate. (15.R5)

Recommendation 49 (status: yet to commence)

The Review recommends that Queensland Health staff responsible for conducting mental health assessments on young people in response to a serious suicide attempt should be trained (if not qualified) in mental health assessment specific to young people (particularly those with complex needs). (15.R6)

Recommendation 50 (status: in progress)

The Review recommends that parents and guardians should be advised of all significant incidents occurring in the centre for which children may have suffered harm as defined in the Youth Justice Act 1992, section 268 as soon as there is a recognition that harm has been suffered. (15.R7)

Recommendation 76 (status: yet to commence)

The Review recommends that further investigation should be undertaken as to the concerning allegation of the misuse of Individual THHS-12’s electronic signature and accuracy of meeting minutes. (19.R1)

Recommendation 80 (status: yet to commence)

The Review recommends that youth detention centre employees should receive more training in identification, treatment and management of young people with mental health issues. (19.R5)

Recommendation 81 (status: in progress)

The Review recommends that Youth Justice policies and risk assessment tools should:

  • distinguish between suicide risk and self-harm risk
  • reflect the research undertaken by Youth Justice that physical restraints escalate self-harming behaviour. (19.R6)

Recommendation 82 (status: yet to commence)

The Review recommends that consideration should be given to creating a 0.5 FTE consultant psychiatrist and a 1.0 FTE psychiatry registrar to be based at each youth detention centre. (19.R7)

Recommendation 83 (status: yet to commence)

The Review recommends that a consultant psychiatrist should be available on call after hours and on weekends. (19.R8)

Last reviewed
21 November 2017
Last updated
21 November 2017
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