Acute Adolescent Response Capacity Service (AARC)
The AARC team works with older adolescents (14/15-18 years) and their families/carers who attend Westmead Hospital Emergency Department (ED).
AARC clinicians work closely with the hospital psychiatric consultation-liaison and short stay teams in undertaking developmentally informed, family and systems focused risk assessment and safety planning for adolescents with mental health problems and their families/carers.
The aim is to ensure positive care experiences, to divert adolescents from admission to the Cumberland adult MH facility wherever possible and to facilitate appropriate transfer to community and primary care services, as well as admission to the RIAS acute adolescent unit when necessary.
The development of a comprehensive safety plan is the core objective and this is a shared undertaking involving C-L registrar, AARC clinician, the presenting adolescent and their parent / key responsible adult.
Liaison with referrers and with services (eg school staff, Community Services, private practitioners, community MH, Headspace, NGOs, GPs and a range of others) involved with the adolescent is a key requirement for the safety plan and essential to safe and effective care transition planning.