Youth Sanctuary – early intervention residential centre for young people experiencing suicidal ideation.
Ruah, in partnership with Samaritans WA and Telethon Kids Institute, is delivering an innovative new service that will save the lives of young Western Australians and support up to 300 young people and their families every year.
The service will be delivered via a new Youth Sanctuary located in Subiaco, offering help to young people experiencing suicidal thoughts. The Sanctuary is on schedule to be operational from October 2023.
The Youth Sanctuary will be therapeutic space providing up to four nights’ stay and early intervention for up to five people aged between 16 and 24 at a time – an opportunity to work with them before they reach crisis point.
The innovative program is based on an international model, operated by Maytree UK, which has been working successfully for 20 years. It has been co-designed by world leaders in youth suicide support, mental health services and research evaluation, with input from young people with lived experience of suicidal thoughts and behaviours to ensure it is fit for purpose.
Young people experiencing suicidal thoughts won’t need a mental health diagnosis to use the facility and can be referred by anyone, including family, friends, health professionals or themselves. Referrals, which are expected to open in September, will be assessed prior to acceptance to ensure the service is appropriate to the young person’s needs.
The service is non-medical, offering a trauma-informed, therapeutic environment in a safe space. Young people who are experiencing suicidal ideation in the context of alcohol or other drug use, or psychosis, will be identified by the assessment process and referred to other services designed for crisis support.
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The Youth Sanctuary will, as the name suggests, be a peaceful place for recovery for young people who will receive support by trained staff, including a clinical psychologist, support coordinators, lived experience Peer support workers and support counsellors. The focus will be on supporting young people to develop tools and strategies to build hope and resilience.