Orygen welcomes the announcement by the Victorian Minister for Mental Health, the Hon James Merlino MP, that the 2020/21 Budget will include $868.6 million for mental health services and support in Victoria.
The investment will enable the Victorian Government to deliver on the recommendations from the Royal Commission into Mental Health’s interim report. The new funding includes:
- $47.8 million for early intervention directed at young people experiencing severe mental illness and psychosocial disability;
- $492 million for 120 new mental health beds in addition to the 24 Hospital in the Home beds announced earlier this year;
- $21.4 million to complete expansion of the HOPE post-suicide support services state-wide; and
- $26 million to provide 19,000 addition hours of community-based mental health support.
Included in this package is $7 million in funding for Orygen’s research, operations and clinical innovations that are critical in delivering quality mental health care across Victoria.
Executive director of Orygen, Professor Patrick McGorry said he warmly welcomed the package and the investment in Orygen. “This investment will catalyse Orygen’s capacity to further develop innovative and effective youth mental health care for young people in Victoria and stem the tide of preventable harms caused by the all-too-common experience of mental ill-health in our young people,” Professor McGorry said.
“Through this investment the Victorian Government continues to build on one of its major achievements in youth mental health, Orygen, a world-leading epicentre through which youth mental health research and innovation is conducted and translated into high-quality effective service models and care.
“The Victorian Government’s previous landmark investment of $60 million replaced Orygen’s dilapidated old buildings with a world-class, 21st century translational research and clinical facility which is now the envy of the world.”
Professor McGorry said the government’s investment in Orygen was more important than ever as the COVID-19 pandemic had created a new sense of urgency to support the increasing number of young Victorians both at risk of, and experiencing, mental ill-health.
“There has been a significant increase in mental health impacts across the youth population due to COVID-19, and previous modelling undertaken by Orygen indicated that the crisis would result in a surge of common mental health issues of up to 30 per cent among young people in the coming years,” Professor McGorry said.
“Orygen applauds the Victorian Government’s commitment to invest in the full range of mental health reforms across the lifespan recommended through the Royal Commission into Mental Health’s interim report, and congratulates them on taking action to improve Victorians’ access to mental health care at this time when it is most critically needed.”