25 October 2018

Premier visits world’s first facility focused on youth mental health research, clinical care and service reform as it nears completion

Premier visits world’s first facility focused on youth mental health research, clinical care and ser

The Premier of Victoria, the Hon. Daniel Andrews MP, and the Minister for Mental Health, the Hon. Martin Foley MP, today officially visited the new state-of-the-art medical research facility for youth mental health that is nearing completion in Parkville. The facility will see Victoria lead the world in youth mental health research, the translation of the latest research knowledge into clinical practice, and the development of clinical service models for youth mental health.

The purpose-built facility has been co-designed with more than 160 young people and will house Orygen, the National Centre of Excellence in Youth Mental Health (Orygen); and the Orygen Youth Health Clinical Program (OYHCP), which is operated by Melbourne Health.

The new facility realises a long-held goal of both organisations to develop a unique regional model of evidence-based treatment and care for all young people experiencing mental ill-health, that can serve as an exemplar model across Victoria and Australia.

The new facility is the result of a $78 million partnership between the Victorian Government and Orygen, the National Centre of Excellence in Youth Mental Health. Orygen formed the partnership with the government after receiving an initial $10 million towards the new building from The Colonial Foundation ($5 million) and the University of Melbourne ($5 million); and then later a further $8 million from the Australian Government ($5 million) and The Ian Potter Foundation ($3 million). The Victorian Government contributed $60 million to the project.

The executive director of Orygen, Professor Patrick McGorry, said the Victorian Government’s investment in mental health infrastructure for young people was an encouraging sign that the state was again committed to improving the lives of young people experiencing mental ill-health.

“Mental illnesses, and associated problems, are the most significant health issues experienced by young people,” Professor McGorry said. It’s between the ages of 12 and 25 that most mental illnesses appear for the first time; however with early intervention the long-term outcomes for these young people can be vastly improved.”

“Orygen is a recognised world leader in improving mental health outcomes for young people and the provision of these modern facilities for our research and clinical work is an essential development for Orygen’s continued national and international leadership in youth mental health innovation.”

While thanking the Victorian Government for its investment, Professor McGorry also acknowledged the strong support and generosity of The Colonial Foundation, the University of Melbourne, The Australian Government and The Ian Potter Foundation, for directing funding towards the new building.

“These funding commitments have resulted in a world-class youth mental health facility that all Australians can be proud of and will contribute greatly to building and supporting the comprehensive mental health care system that young people and their families deserve.”