18 October 2018

Youth mental health the focus as Victorian election nears

Youth mental health the focus as Victorian election nears

With the Victorian Government election now only six weeks away, Orygen has been calling on all political parties in Victoria to prioritise and invest in youth mental health. The impetus for the campaign has included:

  • Results of a community opinion poll conducted in August 2018 that clearly demonstrated Victorians believe mental health should be a priority for the next government, and that many believe young people’s access to mental health care in Victoria is poor.
  • A report released by Mental Health Victoria earlier this year, highlighting Victoria’s underspend and underservicing in clinical community-based care compared to other states and territories.
  • Recently published Victorian emergency department data indicating a 46% increase over the past 7 years in mental health-related presentations among young people aged 19 years and under.
  • Stories from young people and their families relating to their experiences accessing and receiving care from the mental health system in Victoria

Although this has been a Victorian-focused campaign, the drivers for advocacy and change in youth mental health will be similar across other states and territories, Professor Patrick McGorry, executive director of Orygen, said.

“If we are to get any nearer to restoring, maintaining and promoting mental wellbeing for all Australians we need targeted and ongoing investment in youth mental health,” Professor McGorry said. “Such investment would give us the means to make significant and sustained improvements to the mental health outcomes of young people in both Victoria and across the country.”

If you would like to know more about our campaigning in the lead up to the Victorian election, or would like to participate, you can get more information here.