The Australian Government has today announced a three-year extension of funding for Orygen, the National Centre of Excellence in Youth Mental Health; consolidating Australia’s international leadership in translational mental health research, service innovation and policy development.
The investment is part of a $110 million package of programs supporting youth mental health announced today by the government.
In its first four years of operation Orygen’s National Centre of Excellence has developed and undertaken extensive clinical trials of new treatments in youth mental health; provided training, support and information to mental health clinicians and service planners; and formulated new approaches to supporting young people experiencing mental ill-health.
One in four young Australians and their families are affected by mental ill health each year.
In announcing the extension of Orygen’s national role, health minister Greg Hunt said the funding underpinned the Coalition’s strong commitment to find new treatments, and design and scale up innovative models of care, for mental illness in young people.
Orygen’s Executive Director, Professor Patrick McGorry, expressed his gratitude to the Minister and the government for their renewed commitment to improving outcomes for young people experiencing mental ill-health.
“Today’s announcement by Minister Hunt renews Orygen’s mandate to shape national policy and practice in youth mental health and allows us to continue our research into new approaches and interventions,” Professor McGorry said. “Orygen is the engine room for new knowledge and skills in youth mental health and the Australian Government’s investment maintains the machine and supplies vital fuel for this task.
“Approximately one million young people experience mental ill-health in Australia each year. This has significant personal, social and economic ramifications for our community.”
Over the three years from July 2018 the National Centre will focus on improving mental health service delivery, including building workforce capability; as well as accelerating its comprehensive research program.
Professor McGorry said by translating the centre’s research into evidence-based policy development, clinical services and training and education, the quality and effectiveness of care provided to young people would continue to improve.
“The government’s investment in Orygen is a signal to young people who experience periods of mental ill-health that Australia is truly committed to improving access to expert help as well as strengthening the power of the treatments they receive. The researchers and clinicians at Orygen are all dedicated to saving the lives and safeguarding the futures of young people.”
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