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Scientific news

At @ease, we attach great importance to the scientific research that has been firmly linked to our organization since the start. In this way we can test whether we continue to meet the needs of young people and also find out to what extent our offer actually helps young people to deal with various questions and problems. We like to share our 'lessons learned'.

Recently, the researchers affiliated with @ease, published an article about our methodology and the characteristics of the young people who visit @ease. The article shows the need and feasibility of a youth-proof organization where professionals and peers work flexibly and directly together. You can read the full article here.

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Peer involvement and accessibility as key ingredients for 21st century youth mental health care services

Recently, a commentary was published in the Journal of World Psychiatry (impact factor 49) about the power of peer-to-peer support. Co-founder of @ease (Prof. dr. Therese van Amelsvoort) and postdoctoral researcher (dr. Sophie Leijdesdorff) wrote this comment by invitation and in response to an article by Prof. Patrick McGorry and colleagues, founding father of the Youth Mental Health Movement and the Headspace Centres in Australia.

Following McGorry's work, the @ease's walk-in youth centres are opened since 2018 in the Netherlands. Peer support is a key feature of @𝐞𝐚𝐬𝐞'𝐬 services: young people talk to young people. Healthcare professionals are providing supervision. A direct link with psychiatrists from local mental health institutions and the mental health emergency service is always available.

Van Amelsvoort and Leijdesdorff state in their comment: "We would like to emphasize the value of peer support and youth volunteers on their own, not only as a cheap alternative but as a crucial ingredient for lowering the threshold to seek help and facilitate disclosure of difficult topics, including suicidality and sexual abuse. Peer support results in improvements on both quantitative and qualitative measures of recovery, and peers represent an essential source of support for young people with mental health problems.

When implemented well, peer support is one of the most promising elements that can increase the accessibility of youth mental health services."

Available, easily accessible and youth-friendly help is essential to face the current mental health crisis. Peer support can play a crucial role. Read the entire commentary from World Psychiatry via this link: Peer involvement and accessibility as key ingredients for 21st century youth mental health care services - Amelsvoort - 2022 - World Psychiatry - Wiley Online Library Bronvermelding: World Psychiatry, Volume 21, Issue 1 .

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