Characteristics of Mentally Disordered Youth Referred to a Forensic Satellite Clinic for Violence Risk Assessment: A Case Control Study
Gennady N. Baksheev, Danny Sullivan, Richard Fraser, Catherine Greenwood-Smith, Jennifer McCarthy, David Reid, Anthea Lemphers & Rosemary Purcell
Psychiatry, Psychology and Law
August 21, 2014
There is a lack of appropriate services to manage youth with comorbid mental health problems and violence risks. To address this gap, we implemented a forensic satellite clinic in a youth mental health service. This paper characterises offending histories among 45 young patients referred to the clinic, and compares them with matched clinical controls (n = 45). Levels of prior risk taking and aggression were prominent among referred patients. Forensic cases and controls did not differ on demographic and clinical variables, with the exception of psychiatric inpatient admissions, which were higher among referred patients. Group differences were observed for prior offending variables (e.g., physical aggression), which were significantly higher among referred patients than controls. Findings suggest that referrals were made to the clinic based on challenging and aggressive behaviour rather than specific clinical characteristics. The role of specialist assessment, treatment and management of violence risks in youth mental health services are discussed.