Representatives from prominent local adolescent mental health service organizations – Child and Adolescent Services [CAS], Family Centre, and Solstice have been working together to address crucial enhancements needed within the adolescent mental health care framework.

A spokesperson said, “This collaboration, an extension of the Adolescent Mental Health Research Working Group, aims to streamline collaboration among service providers to ensure a seamless and continuous care pathway for adolescents in need of mental health care.

“One primary objective is to quantify unmet needs within this demographic, based on earlier research findings by Daniel Cavanagh which revealed over 750 adolescents reporting moderate to severe depression symptoms, and more than 600 reporting moderate to severe anxiety symptoms.

Back row from left to right: Ms. Susan Richardson [Family Centre, Ms. Azaria Smith [Solstice], Dr. Eloise Pitts-Crick [Solstice], Dr. Peter Yates [Child and Adolescent Services]; Front row left to right: Dr. Jade Templer [Solstice], Ms. Kelly Madeiros [Solstice], Mr. Daniel Cavanagh, Dr. Sandy De Silva [Family Centre]

CAS, Family Centre & Solstice Bermuda March 2024

“By reviewing the clientele accessing each service provider, the collaborative group aims to identify those who may be missing out on clinical services and to highlight any demographic groups that may be underrepresented or disproportionately affected.

“This data-driven approach will enable the formulation of targeted strategies to address these disparities. The goal is to concentrate collaborative efforts on the changes that will yield the most significant positive impact on adolescent mental health through legislative, early intervention, and prevention initiatives.”

Dr Peter Yates, the Child Psychiatrist for Child and Adolescent Services, emphasized the critical nature of this collaboration, stating, “It is important that we bridge the gaps in our current system to ensure no adolescent falls through the cracks. By pooling our resources and expertise, we can create a more inclusive and effective support system.”

Kelly Madeiros, Executive Director of Solstice, highlighted the importance of early intervention, remarking, “early identification and support can dramatically alter the course of a young person’s life. Our collective efforts aim to put preventative measures at the forefront of our strategy, ensuring that mental health issues are addressed before they escalate.”

Dr Sandy De Silva, Executive Director of Family Centre, underscored the initiative’s commitment to equity, saying, “our focus is not only on improving access to care, but also on ensuring that every adolescent, regardless of their background, receives the tailored support they need.

“This collaboration marks a step forward in our mission to serve all adolescents with the compassion and respect they deserve. We also invite other youth mental health service providers to reach out to us with any information and/or recommendations that will help to progress this initiative.”

The spokesperson said, “This is the beginning of a journey to enhance the mental health landscape for youth. Representatives from CAS, Family Centre, and Solstice invite the community to support this vital mission as they shape a brighter, healthier future for adolescents across the island.”