Various stages of development

As a healthcare practitioner, you will be required to work with people at various stages of development, including children and adolescents. Adolescence can be particularly challenging as the individual negotiates new social roles, contends with sometimes difficult family and extra-familial contexts, experiences rapid physiological and neurological development, and sexual maturation, and develops a personal narrative separate from the family. Healthcare practitioners need to consider these issues when interacting with young people and their families.

Learning outcomes

1. Connect developmental theories to mental health and ill health, social roles, and personal narratives of a meaningful life.

2. Visualise the young person within family constellations, emerging identities, and physiological changes.

3. Design, in partnership with consumers, helpful interventions to common mental health conditions for young people.


You have been asked to provide a treatment report on a client (a child or adolescent) that can be used in referral or handover. The report can either be based on a previous or current child or adolescent client with whom you have worked.

Alternatively, you can utilize the case study in Appendix A. The report must contain the following sections (an example of a template is included in Appendix B):

1. Background

2. Formulation

3. Treatment plan

4. Letter to GP (Note the letter should clearly and briefly outline 1,2 & 3)

Note that this is a report. However, your formulation should cite appropriate literature to support your formulation


Mental health across the lifespan

Appendix A: A provided case study (optional)

Name: Talaihla Smith

Date of Birth: 12.07.2006

Talaihla was brought to a local emergency department on an emergency examination authority (Queensland) after consuming a number of pills from the bathroom cabinet.

She lives with her mother, Karen, and younger brother, Zane, who is nine years old, has behavioral problems and is probably on the autistic spectrum. Talaihla’s parents separated when she was nine years old. Her father re-partnered and moved interstate with his new family. Talaihla doesn’t hear from him often but does spend holidays with him.

The night of the overdose was unexceptional. Karen finished up at 5 pm from her disability support job and picked up Zane from after-school care. Talaihla was in her room when Karen and Zane got home, which was not unusual. She refused to come out for dinner.

Talaihla was still angry that her mother had refused to allow her to go to a party on a school night earlier in the week. She did come out of her room at 9 pm and had a snack.

Talaihla posted a picture of a handful of pills and a goodbye message on Instagram around 10 pm, and a concerned school friend rang Karen. Talaihla acknowledged she had taken an overdose, and Karen rang the ambulance. Talaihla refused to talk to the ambulance crew.

Whilst Talaihla was medically cleared by toxicology, she was not cooperative with the triage nurse. She was more forthcoming with you, the acute care team worker. She disclosed that she had started cutting herself on the thighs some six months ago after an incident at a party, which she didn’t want to discuss. She said that life really sucked since she started high school.

She volunteered that she really hated her body and that everyone thought she was fat and ugly. She won’t eat lunch at school and frequently skips dinner. She has recently started making herself vomit after she sneaks out to the refrigerator late at night and eats too much.

She said that a boy had asked her to a party earlier in the week, and she wasn’t allowed to go. She saw a picture of him kissing another girl on social media, and then, she decided to kill herself.

She occasionally thinks about suicide as everyone talks about it, and a girl who used to be her best friend earlier in the year told her she should go and do it. She hadn’t, however, formulated any clear plan.