Mental health profile - Dr Choong-Siew Yong

AS A MEDICAL intern, Dr Choong-Siew Yong asked himself whether he would pursue a career in mental health or paediatrics.

Now, as Hunter New England Mental Health clinical director, he is helping to answer some of the most pressing questions in the field of child and adolescent mental health.

“There has been growth in the number of child and adolescent presentations with emotional and psychological problems over the past 30 years,” he said.

“Nobody is really sure why.”

Dr Yong, a former AMA vice president, said increased recognition and funding in recent years had helped, but the field was relatively undeveloped in relation to adult mental health.

“In child and adolescent mental health there is a big overlap with social determinants like access to education, poverty and family breakdown,” he said. “The evidence base for the treatment of young people with a multi-modal, team-based approach