The prevalence of mental health problems increases during adolescence affecting up to 25% of young people attending primary care facilities. Nevertheless, mental health needs of young people often go unrecognized for various reasons. Multidisciplinary youth clinics can play a crucial role in improving access of youth to adequate mental health care.
Our specialized multidisciplinary academic unit (pediatricians, internists, gynecologists, nurses, psychiatrists trained in adolescent health) has progressively been recognized as a key partner in Geneva's network: active collaboration on depression screening in school health services, networking with social services as well as with specialized psychiatric services, raising awareness about mental health disorders through training of professionals and research projects in primary care. Mental health issues are addressed in a multidisciplinary approach during weekly team meetings, regular individual and group supervision, medicopsychiatric joint interviews. These interventions allow complementary visions of clinical situations and refining psychological and somatic evaluation in a global approach for adolescents and their families. Interprofessional team collaboration as well as medicopsychiatric joint interviews seem to be interesting approaches for early interventions in complex situations. Successful medicopsychiatric interviews need flexible, experienced and engaged professionals capable and interested in metacommunicating in front of patients and families; a common pitfall would be to reduce this method to two parallel medical evaluations. It allows a broader view not only on the content of the interview, but also on the ongoing process.
Research is needed to better understand the specificities of these interventions and their impact on mental health of young people.