Monday, May 20, 2024

New public youth mental health service announced for Victoria

The Victorian Government has announced it will establish a new dedicated public youth mental health service, following recommendations from the Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System.

Servicing Melbourne’s north west, the Parkville Youth Mental Health and Wellbeing Service will deliver youth mental health and wellbeing care at no cost to the community, in partnership with Orygen a world leader in youth mental health, Victorian Minister for Mental Health, Ingrid Stitt said today.

“We are transforming how mental health treatment is delivered in Victoria and this dedicated youth service will mean we can remain a national leader in the delivery of compassionate care and support for young people,” she said.

“The right support and care can make all the difference to people affected by mental health challenges, especially young people – we won’t stop until we know every Victorian has the care they need and deserve.”

The Minister said the service will draw on Orygen’s world-leading research and integrated clinical care.

“This is a ground-breaking step in building the vital field of youth mental health, which has been pioneered in Melbourne and scaled up nationally and globally over the past 20 years with Victoria and Australia at the epicentre,” said Orygen Executive Director, Professor Patrick McGorry.

“The young people of NW Melbourne and their families will benefit enormously from this change, which has been hard won and which I expect will inspire and guide the wider youth mental health reform for the benefit of all Victorians.”

The dedicated youth mental health and wellbeing service will continue delivering the Orygen Specialist Program (OSP) – currently delivered by the Royal Melbourne Hospital – offering targeted primary and specialist mental health care, and community services to young people aged 12 to 25 with complex mental illness.

The move supports the Royal Commission’s vision for a system that distinguishes between infant, child and family mental health services, and youth mental health services supporting young people to seamlessly transition through the various stages of their care.

With a capacity to continue supporting 1,000 young people every year – the service will be made up of teams of allied health workers, nurses, psychiatrists and doctors who will transfer from their existing roles to ensure a smooth transition for patients.

“The new Parkville Youth Mental Health and Wellbeing Service will ensure accessible youth-friendly services that are developmentally appropriate, accessible and responsive, to reflect the diversity of young people in North West Melbourne’s local communities,” said Royal Melbourne Hospital Chief Executive, Professor Shelley Dolan.

“To date the youth mental health reforms have been guided by the voices of young people and have had strong support from the RMH Specialist Program leaders and clinicians. I wish to acknowledge their dedication to positive change.”

Multidisciplinary teams will provide individually tailored services that deliver assessment and crisis intervention, case management, medication, psychological interventions, peer support, family support, inpatient care, group work, vocational interventions, educational assistance, and intensive outreach.

Access to services will not change for existing patients and the new service will begin operating in the second half of this year, the Government said in a statement.

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