Mental health

Youth Enhanced Support Service South Western Sydney

15 June 2022

We’re putting the spotlight on mental health in this monthly feature. Learn more about SWSPHN commissioned services, projects and events, and find guidance on navigating the mental health system. 

This month we’re highlighting Youth Enhanced Support Service South Western Sydney (YESS-SWS) delivered by Uniting.

What services and supports does your service provide?  

The Youth Enhanced Support Service South Western Sydney (YESS-SWS) commissioned by SWSPHN provides care to young people (aged 12 to 25) with, or at risk of, severe and enduring or complex mental health needs which have a significant impact on their day-to-day life.  

YESS is a multidisciplinary team which provides comprehensive biopsychosocial assessment, therapeutic intervention and case management. The team includes a psychiatrist, a peer worker and mental health clinicians. YESS provides individual sessions, family work and group programs, and can also connect young people and their families to other support services to deliver wrap around care. The program is designed to provide flexible, medium-term care (typically up to 12 months) at no cost to the young person. Caseloads are capped for each clinician, which means there is a limit to the number of young people each clinician is assigned to, to ensure young people and families accessing the service are provided with comprehensive care tailored to their needs.   

The YESS program focuses on young people who would benefit from a multidisciplinary approach with the goal of preventing young people from having to access tertiary level care. This includes consumers whose needs are greater than what headspace and ReFrame can provide but do not meet criteria for tertiary services. YESS facilitates the care of young people through their journey “stepping up and down” on the stepped care continuum.   

What are your service locations?  

YESS co-locates at headspace centres in Bankstown, Liverpool and Campbelltown as well as ReFrame in Wollondilly and Wingecarribee. The program also provides outreach and telehealth options across South Western Sydney for those who cannot attend centre-based appointments. 

What is the eligibility criteria to access your service and are there any targeted supports to specific population groups?  

YESS is for young people aged 12-to-25 years old living, working or studying in South Western Sydney who are experiencing, or are at risk of experiencing, severe and enduring or complex mental health needs and functional impairment. The complexity of their presentation means these young people cannot be managed in a typical primary care setting and would benefit from multidisciplinary team care. Those who are relatively new to mental health services and have not had significant treatment at a greater intensity than YESS provides will be prioritised. 

YESS is not suitable for issues which would benefit from a specialist service including; neurodevelopmental disorders such as ADHD, ASD and intellectual disability; disruptive, impulse control and conduct disorders; as well as, eating disorders, psychotic disorders and primary diagnosis of substance use disorder which would require specialist care.  

 YESS is also not suitable for young people who are; at acute risk of harm to themselves or others, in need of services which would be more appropriately delivered within an acute or hospital setting or by NSW Health community mental health services, eligible for receiving clinical treatment under NDIS or requiring services for legal reports of psychiatry only. 


Does your service provide support to people who don’t speak English as a first language?  

If a young person meets the eligibility criteria and is accepted into the program, we can provide support to people who don’t speak English as a first language. Depending on their support needs, we may work collaboratively with or refer to external agencies for specialised assistance. 

If so, what supports are available? 

Where required, young people and their families involved in the YESS program can access free interpreting services. We may also work with or refer to external agencies such as transcultural mental health.  


How can people be referred? 

The young people or, with the young person’s consent, family, friends or a referrer can make a referral by completing a referral form and emailing to [email protected] or fax to 8820 0737. For enquiries contact 1800 YESS PM (1800 937 776). All referrals are discussed at a YESS intake meeting. If a referral is not suitable for YESS, they can assist in finding the right service. 



Local case study/example of a client journey when accessing your services, including:

A 17-year-old female is referred to YESS-SWS in December 2020 by headspace for concerns related to a long-standing history of anxiety and the more recent onset of depressive symptoms in the context of psychosocial stressors. 

Following assessment, the young person was accepted into the program for ongoing care. Over the course of the next year, this client engaged with the program’s multidisciplinary team, supported by a mental health clinician, peer support coach and the clinical lead/psychiatrist. 

In terms of treatment, the client attended approximately 25 sessions of focussed psychological intervention and these were a combination of home visits, appointments at the local headspace site and telehealth sessions. The client also engaged in a YESS group, facilitated by the YESS Peer Worker. In addition, the client’s mother was also involved in her care and liaison occurred with the Family Connections Support Service which had been providing assistance to the client’s family. 

At the client’s most recent appointment, she reported she has been doing well and her mood has been stable. She recently returned to school to complete the HSC and has also secured a part-time job which she is happy about. In terms of outcomes, her K10 score has dropped from 34/50 at service entry to 13/50 indicating a considerable drop in psychological distress. 

A day in the life of mental health nurse/senior clinician Sheena Keer

Sheena Keer - mental health nurse/senior clinician What is your day-to-day role?

A typical day for me as a mental health clinician usually begins by checking my calendar for the day, preparing for sessions, following up on correspondence emails, liaising with stakeholders and family members of young people.

What do you find most challenging about your role?

The most challenging part of my role is having to let people know that we currently have a waitlist. It would be great if we were able to service everyone however unfortunately, that is just not possible.

What do you find most rewarding about your role?

The most rewarding part of my role is reviewing goals with young people and having them realise the progress they have made.

What do you enjoy doing outside of your job?

I like to go to the gym a few times a week as well as hanging out with my friends and family.

Find out more

Visit the YESS page on this website for more information.

Read more
Font Resize