Policy Reports

  • Under the radar: The mental health of Australian university students

    Orygen, The National Centre of Excellence in Youth Mental Health has released a major report that shows that while Australia provides world-class education and is an international leader in youth mental health, the mental health of university students has been largely ignored.

     

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  • Raising the bar for youth suicide prevention

    Orygen, The National Centre of Excellence in Youth Mental Health has released a major report that shows that despite 20 years of suicide prevention strategies and investment by all levels of government, suicide rates among Australian young people are increasing. The report calls for a reinvigorated suicide prevention response that specifically responds to the needs and experiences of young people.

    Titled ‘Raising the bar for youth suicide prevention’, the report is a culmination of an extensive program of work conducted throughout 2016 by Orygen in consultation with the Australian youth mental health and suicide prevention sectors and in partnership with young people themselves.

    Also available Appendix 1 - Evidence summary and Appendix 2 - Youth consultation report.

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  • Two at a time: Alcohol and other drug use by young people with a mental illness

    A peak in the onset of mental illness between the ages of 12 and 25 years coincides with many young people’s first exposure to alcohol and other drugs. Either mental illness or alcohol and other drug issues can lead to or exacerbate the other, and once established, it is difficult to disentangle the two health issues.

    This report examines integrating treatments to broaden the reach of services for young people with co-occurring mental ill-health and alcohol and other drug issues, establishing earlier and improved rates of access to eHealth products and services and recommends making existing health clinics friendlier, as young people often find medical clinics unwelcoming and stigmatising.

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  • Nip it in the bud: Young people and eating disorders

    Orygen, the National Centre of Excellence in Youth Mental Health, in partnership with The Butterfly Foundation, has led the release a new report highlighting the prevalence and complexities of eating disorders in young people.

    Titled ‘Nip it in the bud’, the report also examines the financial and economic costs of eating disorders, and illustrates the impact these illnesses have on young people, their families and loved ones.

    The report highlights that eating disorders can be treated, but evidence shows only around one quarter of young people access specialist treatment, and those who do, struggle to access services that offer a full treatment model that includes medical, psychological and nutritional care.

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  • Physical challenge: Wider health impacts for young people with a mental illness

    The window of highest onset of mental illness is between the ages of 12 and 25 years. The onset of mental illness brings with it greater risks of poorer physical health outcomes, including sexual and oral health. Despite the increased need to provide holistic health service following the onset of a mental illness, this illness often becomes the single focus, to the detriment of a young person’s physical and sexual health.

    This comprehensive policy report looks at the interplay between mental health and physical health and looks at ways to improve evidence-based holistic care for young people.

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  • Commissioning and youth mental health: Addressing an undertreated health issue

    The Australian Government has released a new mental health policy in response to the National Mental Health Commission’s review of mental health programmes and services. The policy gives the 31 Primary Health Networks (PHNs), established by the Australian Government responsibility for planning mental health services. For young people, headspace services will be integrated with broader youth services at a regional level.

    Orygen has prepared the below policy brief to explore this change in commissioning model and how it could work to ensure the highest quality mental health services for young people.

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  • Looking the other way: Young people and self-harm

    Self-harm among young people in Australia is a significant public health issue, yet one that, like the behaviour itself, remains covered and misunderstood. Even with the increased leadership, focus and investment in youth mental health and suicide prevention over the past decade, the extent and impact of self-harm remain largely neglected. As a result, evidence for effective prevention and early intervention approaches for self-harm is severely lacking.

    This comprehsive report looks at the prevalence and impact of self-harming behaviour in young people, the barriers to these young access appriopriate care and what can be done to improve outcomes for these young people.

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  • Addressing workforce challenges for youth mental health Reform

    A major issue to be addressed underpinning the implementation of national youth mental health policy is the current and projected nationwide skills shortage in the mental health sector. This skills shortage relates to both a fundamental undersupply of mental health professionals in all key disciplines and a pressing need to update knowledge, culture and practice in the mental health workforce. This report analyses these workforce challenges and makes recommendations to support a national strategy and framework for workforce development in the youth mental health sector.

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  • Tell them they're dreaming: Work, education and young people with mental illness in Australia

    Through the whole course of illness, the number one goal that people have is to get back to work or to complete their education and training. Despite this great desire of people with severe mental illness to get back into the workforce they remain the group who are the most marginalised.

    This comprehensive report examines labour market outcomes, educational attainment and employment services for job seekers and makes key recommendations to assist young Australians with mental illness realise their employment and educational dreams.

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  • The economic impact of youth mental illness and the cost effectiveness of early intervention

    Nearly a quarter of young people in Australia people aged 12-25 have concerns relating to their mental health. Australia faces substantial costs arising from mental illness in young people. In 2009, the financial cost of mental illness in people aged 12-25 was $10.6 billion. This Access Economics report analyses the financial impact of mental ill-health on the Australian economy and the flow-on effects of this cost.

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