As demonstrated through numerous studies and research, the onset of most mental health conditions occur in young adulthood. The loft
Young adults increasingly experience mental health concerns at higher rates than adults aged 26 and over, however, they have the lowest rates of treatment.
The Hills Clinic in Kellyville, a member of Aurora Healthcare, is the first purpose-built mental health facility in NSW and incorporates The Loft, a dedicated young adults unit, catered to people 16 to 22 years.
Over the past decade, approximately 2000 young adult patients have accessed inpatient and day programs offered by the clinic.
CEO Jacki Maher has been instrumental in the evolution of the clinic and contributes its success to its holistic approach.
“At The Hills Clinic, we treat not only the mind but the body. ‘In addition to our traditional psychotherapies, we offer physical therapies such as boxing, martial arts, tai chi, circuit training, art therapy, equine therapy and mindfulness.
These activities serve as a distraction, but also allow patients to express themselves physically, while they develop skills they can take home and use during periods of heightened stress.”
“At The Hills Clinic we also engage the family – parents, siblings and peers. By doing so, the treatment we provide is able to address communication issues within the family structure, as well as any additional issues that may be present at school, work, or in the home.”
Mental health conditions such as bipolar and schizophrenia, among others, may be more prevalent in the late teens and early 20s and young adults are often vulnerable to substance abuse, eating disorders, depression and anxiety.
Rhys was 17 years old, he decided to admit himself to the Young Adults three-week inpatient program because he felt ‘unsafe in the real world,’ and has checked-in as an inpatient multiple times over the past few years.
“I originally admitted myself for 2 reasons, to keep myself alive, as well as to provide myself with the safest space possible to work through the monstrosity that is my mind and work towards a better life,” he said.
“ When I started the program, I was so relieved to start getting better after living on the edge of suicide for five years. The staff were very comforting and all the other patients were very friendly.
“The program helped me in many ways. Being in hospital allows your medication to be altered at a quicker rate so that plays into it.
The set schedule around sleeping and eating was great, but I found the therapy groups were what really helped me. With the right mindset, I was able to unpack the years of bad thinking patterns and how to best change them using the strategies I learnt in therapy.”.
The Loft provides a three-week young adult inpatient program, in addition to ongoing day programs for support following discharge. Patients wanting to know more should call 1300 122 144 or take a virtual tour at thehillsclinic.com.au