7 December 2022

In Tasmania, the implementation of a new mental health program focused on Multisystemic Therapy is underway.

A teenage boy with blonde hair, wearing a white T-shirt, stands outside, smiling at the camera.

Life Without Barriers has partnered with Tasmania’s Child and Adolescent Mental health Services (CAMHS) to introduce Tasmania’s first Multisystemic Therapy (MST) mental health program. This is the latest step in the Rockliff Liberal Government’s plan to reform mental health services in Tasmania.

What is Multisystemic Therapy (MST)?

MST supports young people with serious or escalating antisocial and problematic behaviour to build skills to function responsibly and successfully in their natural environments long term.

Some of the ways MST supports young people by:

  • Addressing the core causes of the young person’s behaviour;

  • Viewing the young person as a network of systems, including family, peers, school, and neighbourhood;

  • Building the strength of the systems surrounding the young person;

  • Empowering caregivers to be long-term change agents.

As part of the reforms to Tasmania’s mental health services, led by Premier and Minister for Mental Health and Wellbeing Jeremy Rockliff, MST has been introduced in Tasmania to support children whose severe antisocial behaviour puts them at risk of disengagement from school and entry into the youth justice system. 

“Commencement of the MST program is a significant milestone for Tasmania and presents a strong opportunity for diverting vulnerable young people from the youth justice pathway,” Premier Rockliff said. “Under the MST model, practitioners work closely with young people and their families in the home, school and community by providing practical support to achieve family-determined goals.“ “There is a strong focus on removing barriers to family engagement, with practitioners available to provide support at all times of the day, seven days a week.” “I’m proud that our Government continues to invest in and deliver the mental health services we need to build a caring community.”

The program will be delivered by CAMHS, with the support of Life Without Barriers.

“Life Without Barriers is delighted to be partnering with the Tasmanian Department of Health to support the delivery of MST and warmly welcomes CAMHS into the Australasian Network Partnership of agencies implementing MST across Australia and Aotearoa, New Zealand,” said Suellen Lembke, Manager Evidenced Based Programs Implementation.

“We look forward to our ongoing collaboration with CAMHS to positively impact offending behaviour and address the needs of vulnerable young people and their families.”

MST is an evidence-based program, which means that the program’s approach to service delivery has been shown to be effective through multiple rigorous scientific research studies. Visit our Youth Justice webpage to learn more.

Child, Youth and Family

Our Foster Care, residential care and after care services provide a safe and supportive environment where they can heal and grow.

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