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More Mental Health Services For Young Victorians

07 December 2021

The Andrews Labor Government is making sure no young Victorian experiencing mental health concerns falls through the cracks, with a huge investment in targeted mental health outreach to provide the personalised care children and young adults need.

Minister for Mental Health James Merlino today visited Alfred Health’s Child and Youth Mental Health Service to announce the Labor Government will deliver $16.3 million to expand the Mobile Targeted Assertive Outreach mental health teams statewide, supporting more than 560 extra young Victorians every year.

These vital outreach teams provide specialised support to Victorians aged 12 to 25 who are particularly vulnerable or at risk of disengaging with the system, reaching out to provide intensive one-on-one care in a setting young people feel comfortable with, and are likely to continue to engage in.

The teams work to identify and treat mental illness in young people, support and educate their families, minimise interruption to their educational and social lives, and support them to manage their ongoing health and recovery.

The extra support will deliver an outreach team in 13 locations across Victoria – so young people across the state get the specialised care they need in their community.

The mobile teams are staffed by a variety of workers including psychiatric nurses, doctors, family and occupational therapists, psychologists and social workers – and importantly include youth peer workers with lived experience of the mental health system, who can connect to at-risk young people more effectively than traditional clinicians.

Alfred Health delivers one of the existing Mobile Targeted Assertive Outreach teams, and this extra support will help the team reach around 126 more families in crisis every year in Melbourne’s inner south-east alone.

This outreach investment builds on a record $300 million delivered in the Victorian Budget 2021/22 to boost the capacity of all Infant, Child and Youth Area Mental Health and Wellbeing Servicesacross Victoria over four years, providing support to more than 2,300 extra young Victorians aged 0 to 25 and their families every single year.

To build a new mental health and wellbeing system from the ground up that meets the needs of all Victorians, this year’s Budgetinvested a record $3.8 billion in mental health and wellbeing services and support.

This unprecedented investment recognises how critical the early years are in promoting good mental health for life, with $842 million for children and young people so they are supported as soon as they need mental health care.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Mental Health James Merlino  

“I want every young Victorian who is struggling with their mental health to know that support is available – we’re delivering extra services right across the state, tailored to young people, so nobody needs to suffer in silence.”

“This is a profound investment in young Victorians with complex needs – with outreach support to make sure nobody falls through the cracks of our mental health system, no matter what their life circumstances.”

Quote attributable to Member for Bentleigh Nick Staikos  

“We won’t stop investing in the mental health of young Victorians – setting them up with the support they need early in life by providing dedicated services in communities right across our state.”

Reviewed 07 December 2021

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