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Expanded Youth Programme

International Specialist To Head Expanded Youth Programme

Following the successful establishment of Ireland¹s first residential alcohol and drug treatment programme for young people, American Jim Heaslip is bringing his experience and expertise to New Zealand.

After 28 years devoted to treating patients at the Hazelden Centre for youth and family in Minneapolis, Mr Heaslip will manage Queen Mary Hospital¹s programme for young people which is being expanded so twice the number of youth can be treated at any one time.

"The expansion of the Hanmer Springs based programme and the appointment of Jim Heaslip are major developments for Queen Mary," says Chairman of Queen Mary Hospital John Beattie.

"These developments will clearly position Queen Mary as one of the leaders in the field in New Zealand and in time even internationally."

"Jim¹s skills in programme administration, training, counselling and facilitating referral and placement processes will be invaluable to the programme. They will also ensure a high standard of care and the professional development of staff working in this area."

Mr Heaslip will oversee a specialised team of staff including nurses, counsellors and a qualified educator who together treat up to 24 young people at a time.

"Our youth programme, launched a year ago, is the only programme in New Zealand to offer residential care in a hospital setting for patients assessed as dependent on alcohol/drugs, sometimes as young as 13. All young people who complete the programme are able to access Queen Mary¹s after care services for a period of up to two years," says Mr Beattie.

"The increase in the number of young people Queen Mary can accept at any one time demonstrates the growing need for this type of specialist youth service within New Zealand."

The expansion of the Youth Programme is one of several recent initiatives. Others include upgrading the detoxification unit and remodelling the Chisholm Wing for the Youth Programme.

Intensive outpatient programmes have also been developed to offer an alternative for both adults and young people for whom the residential care programmes are not appropriate. These programmes are offered through a network of clinics, known as Hanmer clinics, in Auckland, Wellington, Tauranga and Christchurch.

People who complete treatment programmes can access after care services through the Hanmer Clinics or through continuing care services now established in Napier, Palmerston North, Wanganui and Nelson.

Plans are underway to launch similar services in Hamilton, Dunedin, Greymouth, Timaru and Invercargill.


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