A recent expansion and refurbishment has refreshed Mission Australia's Drug and Alcohol Youth Service (DAYS) with modern, youth-friendly facilities, extra floor space, and importantly more beds for those who need them. Up to 10 young people at a time can now participate in the DAYS residential detox program, an increase from the six places available previously.

Attendees from a range of government, non-profit organisations and ministerial representatives made their way to East Perth for the reopening of DAYS this week. The WA Deputy Premier and Minister for Health and Mental Health Roger Cook officially opened the world-class facility, joined by our recently appointed WA State Director Jo Sadler, who addressed those present on the morning, outlining the necessity of the upgrades.

"This expansion and the associated refurbishment of the facility will help us to meet the needs of an increasing number of young people who are dealing with drug and alcohol issues," Sadler said.

"DAYS is the only youth detox and respite facility in Western Australia for young people under the age of 18. The service supports young people aged 12 to 22 and offers a safe, supportive and friendly environment where young people can recover amongst their peers, with support services that target their particular needs.”

Guests on the day had the opportunity to explore the building, commenting on its non-clinical, welcoming, and youth-friendly nature. The project was funded by a capital grant from the West Australian Mental Health Commission.

What changes were made?
  • New construction of four bedrooms, two bathrooms, the dining room and a store room
  • Remodelling of the kitchen, office, laundry, bathroom and courtyard area
  • Installation of air conditioning, fire services and security in the extended areas of the building

DAYS is delivered by Mission Australia in collaboration with Next Step Drug and Alcohol Services, which is part of the West Australian Mental Health Commission. The program takes an integrated approach when assessing young people to determine what support they may require. The team uses a holistic care approach for young people who access services, whether they are living out in the community or residing in the residential detox unit.

For young people who are living in the community, that may mean accessing case management, individual or family counselling, group programs, clinical support from psychologists and other health professionals, or creative therapy.

For those staying at the facility for the three-month residential program, it means receiving 24-hour supervised care from experienced staff. The focus is to provide both physical and emotional safety while young people can engage in treatment and work towards a secure transition back into the community.

Sadler says that a safe and supportive environment like DAYS is essential for breaking drug and alcohol addictions, especially for young people.

Ensuring that appropriate detoxification and rehabilitation facilities are available at the time they are needed is essential. It is difficult to find that small window of opportunity where the young person struggling with addiction is stable and self-motivated to commence detoxification.

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