Clinical practice points

Clinical practice points

Working with young people experiencing homelessness

Safe and secure housing is considered a basic human right, yet homelessness continues to be a worldwide issue. Despite new approaches and improved understanding of the factors that lead to and perpetuate homelessness, the rates of homelessness have continued to rise within Australia. According to Australian Census figures, the proportion of young people aged 12–24 years old who were experiencing homelessness rose by 19.5% from 2006 to 2011.

Working with clinical complexity and challenges in engagement

Engagement is fundamental to successfully treating early psychosis. If a young person is well engaged with their treatment, they are more likely to attend services, participate meaningfully in therapy and adhere to medication, all of which increase their chances of recovery. Unfortunately, engagement is not always straightforward, and up to a third of young people may disengage from early psychosis services in the long term.

Addressing barriers to engagement - Working with challenging behaviour

There is no universal definition of challenging behaviour, this is partly because whether or not a behaviour is seen to be ‘challenging’ is subjective. Whether a person perceives a young person’s behaviour to be challenging depends on many factors. These may include their social and cultural background,1 role (e.g. a clinician, teacher), previous exposure to the behaviour, relationship with the young person, confidence in their ability to respond in an appropriate way, available support (e.g. clinical management), and the context in which the behaviour presents (e.g. a classroom, an inpatient unit). It is also important to consider whether or not a behaviour is developmentally appropriate.