The global COVID-19 pandemic has created a mental health crisis for young people around Australia, including those in Sydney.

St Vincent’s Private Hospital Sydney’s USPACE, our young adult mental health service, has never been more vital in supporting our community to meet the emerging mental health challenges the prolonged impact of COVID-19 is creating.

USPACE is unique. It was Australia’s first Private young adult mental health unit providing specialist care for people aged 16 to 25 years and provides therapeutic programs that not only include psychiatric consults and psychological group therapy but also physical activities like walking, tennis and yoga and the use of creative modalities in music, drama and art therapy. These activities help treat young patients with a range of conditions including mood and anxiety disorders, PTSD, ADHD, borderline personality disorder and substance use.

Exercise and art therapy helps the brain better cope with stress. Its holistic approach to patient care encourages greater healing by embedding healthier routines into young people’s lives. In addition, the social interaction from group therapy reduces feelings of isolation and helps build peer to peer relationships. Therapy of this nature is a powerful way to help patients through the issues they are experiencing.

Each program is coordinated by specialist fitness instructors, yoga practitioners, and highly qualified arts therapists. These professionals work with St Vincent’s doctors and nurses to guide our young patients to relax and express themselves in ways that “just talking” doesn’t always achieve.

To meet the increased demand, USPACE’s 20 bed in-patient service has needed to significantly expand to include day-only therapeutic programs and support groups to help as many patients as possible.  The Friends of St Vincent’s Private generously supported USPACE when it was first established and now, as one of our Friends, we call on your help again to support our young adults. Receiving support for these therapeutic programs means we can continue to help more young adults overcome their psychological vulnerabilities.            

You can support USPACE now by donating online.