Young Adult Group Programme



Recovery can be a slow and frustrating process with various setbacks, and problems initially may seem insurmountable. However, it is vital to understand that with the right help most people will recover from their conditions and return to a normal fulfilling life. The skills learned through the process of mental health treatment and recovery will stand to you in the future, helping you to recognise the risks of relapse, the best ways of seeking help and preventing recurrences.

Addressing age-appropriate psychological and social factors are essential in rebuilding young people’s lives.

The Young Adult Service in St Patrick’s Mental Health Services consists of an inpatient and day patient programme located at St Patrick's University Hospital and a community clinic located at the Dean Clinic Sandyford, Co Dublin.

It aims to help young people to develop the skills necessary for managing their conditions and putting their lives back together again.

About the programmes

  • Overview

    Young Adult Group Programme

    The Young Adult Programme (YAP) is based at St Patrick's University Hospital and is located in the day programme area near the main hospital reception. The programme is held on weekdays between 10:30am-3.30pm. It comprises a wide range of group sessions and activities especially catering for the needs of young people. It is delivered by clinicians trained in working with young adults.

    The programme aims to help you develop a better understanding of your problems, ways of resolving them and receiving support from others with similar experiences. The programme aims to create a group culture that is positive and influential. It should be enjoyable and facilitate increasing motivation. The establishment of short-term goals is also beneficial, both to the group and to the individual.

    Young adults can join the programme at any stage in its cycle. The cycle is between six to eight weeks and the groups vary in size depending on the activity. When you start, you'll meet the programme coordinator who will work out with you which components of the programme will suit you most and whether you might benefit from combining the programme with other programmes run by the hospital e.g. Living Through Distress Programme, Depression Programme, etc.

    The co-ordinator will help you join the programme and will accompany you on your first day. You will meet other young people attending the programme, some with similar problems, and the focus will be on helping to resolve these problems with other people’s help. Being with other people with similar experiences goes a long way to reduce the isolation that many people experience initially with these conditions.

    Young Adult Inpatient Programme

    If, based on your assessment, it is recommended that you come into hospital, we have a specialist inpatient programme that caters specifically for the needs of 18-25 year olds with mental health difficulties.

    While in hospital you will be looked after by the Young Adult inpatient team. The team will help you work out what the problems are and what kinds of interventions will suit you best. This will form the basis for you individual care plan. If you would like your family involved then members of the team will meet with you and your family so see how they can help as well. The team will generally recommend the Young Adult Programme (this can be attended as an inpatient or day patient). It may be combined with other programmes and therapies as well.

    When you are beginning to feel better the team will encourage you to start having periods of leave from the hospital usually with your family and then alone. This will increase to overnight leave home on weekends before your discharge from hospital. The team will help you to work out what support you need after you go home and try to put this in place before you are discharged from hospital. The average length of stay in hospital is about four weeks.

    Most people need quite a bit of support and follow-up after they leave hospital as recovery can be a slow process. It takes time to get back into a normal routine and life again. It is important to maintain contact with the team after you go home. You can keep in contact with members of the team through the Young Adult Clinic in Dean Sandyford and the Young Adult (Day) Programme at St Patrick's University Hospital.

    Young Adult Clinic

    The Young Adult Clinic is an outpatient clinic on a Wednesday at the Dean Clinic in Sandyford. It is a clinic especially catering for the needs of young adults (aged 18 - 25) with mental health problems.

    If you need an assessment your GP can refer you and an appointment will then be sent to you for your initial assessment at the clinic by one of the team's doctors and therapists. This assessment is free of charge.

    After your assessment is complete, we will help you to develop your own treatment plan either with our team or another service depending on the needs identified at your assessment. If you want to avail of the team's services, we can offer this either via the Young Adult Clinic, the Young Adult Day Programme or the Young Adult Inpatient Service.

    We provide a range of therapies at the clinic including:

    ▪    Cognitive behavioural therapies 
    ▪    Integrative psychotherapies
    ▪    Systemic and family therapies 
    ▪    Specialist psychological therapies such as CBT for psychosis
    ▪    Occupational therapies with vocational and educational support.

    We can also provide more specialised assessments if required e.g. neurocognitive assessments and assessments for the early signs of psychosis. Each person attending the clinic will have their own doctor who will review the need or any medical investigations or treatment. You will be under the care of the team's consultant and your treatment will be reviewed regularly by the team. Parents and carers are encouraged to attend part of the medical reviews with the doctor. Our focus is on recovery and linking you in to treatments and programmes that will assist you in getting your life back to normal.

  • What is involved in attending the group programme?

    If you are being referred to attend the Young Adult Programme, YAP, your doctor or keyworker will make the initial referral and you will be contacted by the YAP coordinator. You will then be introduced to the programme and an individually tailored programme will be planned with you.

    Many service users attend other programmes alongside the Young Adult Programme specific to their presenting problems. Usually attendance is on an inpatient basis initially and is often followed up with day patient attendance to finish the treatment plan.

  • After care

    Upon discharge, the YAP staff will work in conjunction with you and your MDT in assisting you to make the transition and helping you to link with other services that may assist with your recovery e.g. student support services etc.

    You will leave hospital with a discharge plan that is arranged with your consultant with recommendations from YAP, occupational therapy, cognitive behavioural therapy etc.

    Attendees are encouraged to engage in mainstream education, work or training after they have finished the programme and follow-up support is provided for a short while afterwards.

  • What will happen if it is recommended that I come into hospital?

    If you require urgent admission then your GP should refer you to Assessment & Admissions at St Patrick's University Hospital.

    Once you are in hospital, you can then be referred to the Young Adult Group Programme (YAP) at any stage during your inpatient stay or follow-up. You will be seen on admission by one of the registrars who will do an initial assessment that will include medical examination etc. The admitting nursing staff will then show you the hospital facilities and help you with settling into the hospital.

    Your treating team will meet you the next weekday after you come into hospital and work out with you the best way to help with the difficulties you are experiencing. You may be encouraged to attend the YAP Group Programme while in hospital.


Continue to…

How to access

In this section



Young Adult Service booklet


For general queries, please call us. For more on mental health and our services, see our frequently asked questions (FAQs).

01 249 3200 See our FAQs

Sign up to our GP eNewsletter

Sign up to our GP eNewsletter for information about mental health, service updates, events and continuous professional development training. Please be advised, this eNewsletter cannot be delivered to @healthmail email addresses; please provide an alternative email address.