Posted on 13. Nov, 2010 in Election Media Release, News

The creation of a world-class youth mental health centre in Parkville is at the heart of Labor’s $108.1 million plan to make it easier for young Victorians and families to get better treatment sooner, Premier John Brumby announced today.

“One in five Victorians will experience a mental illness during their lifetime, with 75 per cent of mental illnesses emerging before the age of 25 – and we know early intervention can improve recovery and even prevent mental illness,” Mr Brumby said.

“That’s why a future Labor Government will build on our nation-leading reforms and record investment in the mental health system, with a focus on supporting young people to stay well.

“Our plan to build a new Orygen Youth Health treatment facility will strengthen its position as the world’s leading youth-focused mental health centre.

“Orygen is ideally located within the Parkville Precinct, a major cluster of medical and biotechnology research, education and healthcare services.

“We want to cement Orygen’s reputation as an internationally renowned centre, and ensure it can deliver even better mental health services for Victorians in need.

“Thanks to Labor’s record investment in the mental health system, including through our 10 year reform strategy, Because Mental Health Matters, we are already treating an additional 9000 Victorians a year and have created around 1500 more jobs in the sector.

“A future Labor Government will build on this important strategy, with more services for Victorians experiencing a mental illness when they need it, regardless of where they live.”

Key investments in Labor’s boost to mental health supports include:

  • $48 million to redevelop the Orygen Youth Health site in Parkville, with improved clinical services for young people and begin planning for a dedicated teaching and research facility;
  • $40 million for 10 new Prevention and Recovery Care (PARC) services across the State;
  • $7.3 million for more clinical experts across the State to expand the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services schools program, which aims to prevent problems that may interfere with young people’s social, emotional and educational development;
  • $6.7 million for two more youth early intervention teams – in Melbourne’s north and in Ballarat – to ensure that mental health issues in young Victorians do not develop into life-long problems;
  • $4.5 million for two new community-based youth crisis response teams – in Melbourne’s inner south and in Geelong – to work closely with young Victorians who are highly distressed and posing a risk to themselves and others;
  • $1.6 million to support nurses complete a major in Mental Health during their university training; and
  • an overhaul of the Australia’s oldest Mental Health laws in 2011.


Minister for Mental Health Lisa Neville said Victorians in need of mental health care would also benefit from Labor’s commitment to invest in an extra 2800 doctors and nurses across the state.

“In addition, our commitment to invest $250 million to build a Monash Children’s Centre includes a 20 bed adolescent and mental health unit,” Ms Neville said.

“We have also committed to a special project in partnership with Gay and Lesbian Health Victoria, Sane and Headspace to train health professionals in how to support same-sex attracted youth.

“We understand that the needs of young people are different from those of adults, so it’s vital that treatment and care is delivered in the right environment for them. That’s why a future Labor Government will build seven of the PARC services just for young people aged between 16 and 25.”

Ms Neville said PARC services helped people recover from mental illness, offering support to those who may not need to be in a hospital but who are too unwell to stay at home.

“We know PARC services reduce the need for hospital admission and help people leave hospital early and get on with their lives quicker, so we want to ensure these services are available in more places across Victoria so more people can get the help they need regardless of where they live,” she said.

“Labor also understands that while most young people don’t require mental health treatment or intervention, most need some support during adolescence. And that is why we are funding more clinical experts in schools to prevent problems from arising.

“We also understand that to have a world-class health system, we need to support the development of our workforce and that’s why Labor will work with the Commonwealth Government to provide dedicated places in universities for a “Mental Health Major” in nursing degrees, based on the Victorian trial model.”

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