Youth Psychiatry: A new subspecialty within psychiatry: Progress in Australia and New Zealand

Daniel Pellen, Iain C. Macmillan, Patrick Denistoon McGorry, Eoin J. Killackey

Research output: Contribution to journalMeeting Abstractpeer-review


Aim: There is growing global recognition that mental health is the pre-eminent health and social challenge facing young people. However young people have the worst access to care which is often culturally or developmentally inappropriate or of unacceptable quality. Consequently, a worldwide reform movement, led by clinical researchers and young people, is building new therapeutic models based on enhanced youth friendly primary care. These models are creating a new space in the health system, sensitive to the unique needs of young people as they transition from puberty to independent adulthood. Australasia must now attract and train a new and skilled workforce to meet this unmet clinical need. Method: Traditional child and adolescent and adult psychiatry training lack the scope and appetite for this task. An affinity towards, specialised skills and knowledge regarding, and a vocational commitment to, young people are vital elements for a new evidence-informed and evidence-creating subspecialty in psychiatry. This offers unique challenges, rewards and opportunities for early intervention and transformed outcomes in mental illness over the lifespan. Results: Progress in Australasia has been highly encouraging. The RANZCP supported the creation of a special interest group a decade ago, which has since evolved into a full Section and is now on the verge of becoming a Faculty. To this end, a bespoke training program for higher subspecialty training is currently being developed.
Conclusion: The Subspecialty of Youth Mental Health is rapidly coming of age in Australasia and the future is promising for the field internationally.
Original languageEnglish
Article number12714
Pages (from-to)195
Number of pages1
JournalEarly Intervention in Psychiatry
Issue numberS1
Publication statusPublished - May 2023
Externally publishedYes
EventInternational Conference on Early Intervention in Mental Health 2023: IEPA14 - University of Lausanne, Dorigny Campus, Lausanne, Switzerland
Duration: 10 Jul 202312 Jul 2023
Conference number: 14th

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