New policy think tank a key response to youth mental health crisis

New policy think tank a key response to youth mental health crisis

4 May 2022

Orygen has today launched a new policy think tank – the Orygen Institute – to further respond to the growing youth mental health crisis.

The Orygen Institute will bring together a broad range of experts to expand the perspectives available to contribute to informing policy solutions to improve the mental health of young people.

The new initiative was officially launched at an online event this morning attended by hundreds of people, featuring an expert panel discussing megatrends impacting youth mental health.

Our Executive Director Professor Pat McGorry said the work of the Orygen Institute will play a crucial role in improving better mental health outcomes for young people. 

“For more than two decades, Orygen has been at the forefront of youth mental health, producing ground-breaking research that has shaped health policy and services in Australia and across the world,” he said. 

“This new initiative will push the boundaries of current thinking to better understand the broader factors impacting young people’s mental health and to generate new ideas for policy solutions and change.” 

Professor McGorry said young people’s wellbeing and mental health has been an area of increased concern and attention during the COVID-19 pandemic, but declining mental health among young people has been trending for over a decade.

“Many of us are seeking to understand why, including the contribution of cultural, social, familial, financial, technological, political, and environmental pressures,” he said. 

“The first step is to understand what is creating the problem. An evidence-based response is likely to be a better guide to prevention.”

Professor McGorry said key megatrends of recent decades affecting emerging adults include rising socioeconomic inequalities, wealth transfer from young to older generations, insecure working conditions and career paths, housing and higher education costs, climate change and the impact of social media and smart phones.

“The Orygen Institute will help analyse these factors by harnessing a broad range of public intellectuals, lived and learned experts and create compelling cases for policy makers, here and overseas, to better support young people’s mental health.”

You can read more about the Orygen Institute here on the Orygen website.