Orygen and Victoria University join forces to streamline mental health care and training in Melbourn

Orygen and Victoria University join forces to streamline mental health care and training in Melbourne’s west

22 May 2023

Mental health care and training will be streamlined for young people in Melbourne’s west in an exciting new partnership between Orygen and Victoria University (VU).

headspace Werribee will relocate its existing services later in the year to a new facility at Victoria University’s Werribee Campus, unlocking more accessible, integrated and comprehensive mental health care and wellbeing services for young people.

In addition, both Orygen Specialist Program and headspace Werribee will provide mental health education and training for VU staff and students, as well as employment pathways that are critical to growing the state’s strained mental health care workforce.

As part of the initiative, Orygen Specialist Program and headspace Werribee will provide 70 Victoria University student placements per year across the disciplines of nursing, psychology, social work, youth work, dietetics and nutrition, with the potential to employ new graduates.

Lara who is studying a Master of Applied Psychology (Clinical) at VU and is currently undertaking her student placement at headspace Werribee, reinforced the importance of practical learning at Orygen: “I enjoy being part of a very skilled team, and it is an opportunity to rapidly develop my skills in working with young people. You feel you are intervening at a crucial time in their lives.”

The partnership will see a boost to clinical support for Victoria University wellbeing teams, providing workshops and training and access to regular secondary consultation to support high risk and at-risk students at Victoria University.

Dr Karen Hart, the Operations Director for Clinical Transformation at Orygen said: “The collaboration with Victoria University will be a driving force in shaping Victoria’s future mental health workforce as we leverage Victoria University’s expertise in education along with our expertise in youth mental health.

“Developing a future workforce is one of the most important tasks for the mental health system; it will ensure young people seeking mental health care in the west can access a wider range of services and superior facilities when they need them.”

Vice-Chancellor Professor Adam Shoemaker said “VU is incredibly proud to work with headspace to provide crucial services at our Werribee Campus. This will not only support the mental health of young people in the region, but will also create new study and career opportunities for our students in the industries that need them most.

This collaboration will give our students a unique chance to work closely with experts in the field. This is what we do best – provide tangible, positive outcomes for the wider community, along with establishing new ways for our students to excel. It is needed more than ever.”