Orygen has welcomed the Victorian Government’s announcement of $842 million for mental health and wellbeing support for children and young people.
The investment in youth mental wellbeing is part of a $3.8 billion mental health package in the 2021/22 Budget released today.
The Budget implements the recommendations of the Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System, creating separate streams of care for infants and children (ages 0 to 11) and young people (ages 12 to 25) to better support them in accessing mental health clinical care.
The executive director of Orygen, Australia’s centre of excellence in youth mental health, welcomed the Budget as “once in a generation reform”.
“Not only is the mental wellbeing of the state’s young people at the heart of this Budget, but the $3.8 billion mental health package as a whole is hugely significant for all Victorians,” Professor Patrick McGorry said.
“This wider investment in mental health signals a clear commitment to implement the recommendations of the Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System.
“Orygen looks forward to seeing the Government follow through on this commitment to fix what it has repeatedly acknowledged as a broken system.”
The budget includes:
- $266 million to reform and expand 13 youth area mental health and wellbeing services across Victoria and to support organisations providing mental health care to young people. This will deliver more hours of care for young people, including extended and after-hours support;
- $141 million for 10 beds in each of five new Youth Prevention and Recovery Care (YPARC) units in Melbourne’s North Eastern Metropolitan region as well as the Barwon South West, Gippsland, Grampians and Hume regions;
- $16 million for the expansion of existing Mobile Targeted Assertive Outreach teams which provide support to young people with multiple and complex needs;
- $16 million to establish four new Hospital Outreach Post-suicidal Engagement (HOPE) sites, specifically designed for young people, at Orygen, the Royal Children’s Hospital, Alfred Health, and the Monash Children’s Hospital; and
- $21 million to support the mental health of trans and gender-diverse young people via an expansion of mental health services and primary care in the Monash Health and Royal Children’s Hospital catchments and the development of a clinical pathway from the Royal Children’s Hospital Gender Service to Orygen.
The Budget also provides funding to expand the custodial Forensic Youth Mental Health Service delivered by Orygen at the Parkville and Malmsbury Youth Justice Precincts. Additional hours for specialist mental health assessment and treatment interventions will be provided for young people in custody.
Further, $200 million has been committed for a new schools’ mental health fund, which schools can use to deliver supports and programs that meet the needs of their communities.
Professor McGorry acknowledged the Victorian Government’s commitment to supporting Orygen’s work.
“This crucial activity includes our innovative and rapid translational research and online services to ensure that young Victorians receive effective services and support when and where they need it.
“Orygen looks forward to working with the Victorian Government on this once in a generation opportunity to develop and deliver a mental health system that provides care and support to all Victorians, including young Victorians, when and where they need it.”
Read Orygen's summary of the budget.