Partnership forged to improve the mental health of young people in Victoria

Partnership forged to improve the mental health of young people in Victoria

10 February 2020

Orygen and Youth Affairs Council Victoria (YACVic) have hosted the inaugural state-wide Youth Mental Health Community of Practice event on youth mental health. The event, held at Orygen’s Parkville campus, attracted more than 65 people representing the Victorian youth services sector.

The Community of Practice will support young people, and the social services and mental health sectors to collaborate, share information and work towards improving the mental health of young people in Victoria. It will also provide an opportunity for the Victorian Government to work with, and consult with, relevant sectors in a coordinated and efficient manner.

Orygen’s executive director, Professor Patrick McGorry, said the Youth Mental Health Community of Practice was a timely opportunity to ensure that providing evidence-based and high-quality care for young people experiencing mental ill-health was a core feature of the redesigned mental health system that will be recommended later this year by the Royal Commission into mental health. 

Orygen and YACVic will lead the Community of Practice, host events and disseminate information to support members to improve their practice and ability to support the needs of young people.

Kate Ellis, chief executive officer of YACVic, said there were many individuals, organisations and communities advocating and working to improve youth mental health.

“By bringing everyone together for the Youth Mental Health Community of Practice, we can share knowledge, be connected and form a collective voice on the reform that is needed,” Ms Ellis said.

The inaugural meeting of the Youth Mental Health Community of Practice was opened by Victoria’s Minister for Youth Affairs, Gabrielle Williams. At the meeting the group discussed the terms and reference for the Community of Practice and the development of a coordinated response to the interim report from the Royal Commission into Victoria’s mental health system. This included the input of Orygen’s youth participation program members Melissa Keller-Tuberg. Natasha Swingler and Bridget Moore.  

Melissa Keller-Tuberg, a member of Orygen’s Youth Research Council, said: “The purpose of the Royal Commission is to improve the lives of those touched by mental illness, so it is essential that the community is empowered in all stages of the process.”

The Youth Affairs Council of Victoria and Orygen will be compiling the feedback from the group and distributing a Terms of Reference for the Community of Practice, with more forums and networking opportunities planned for 2020.