Early intervention the key to better youth mental health

  7 November 2016  NWMPHN   

Young people experiencing first episode psychosis in Melbourne’s north and west will soon have better access to care, thanks to new treatment partnerships supported by North Western Melbourne Primary Health Network.

A request for tender process is now open seeking proposals which can improve outcomes for young people experiencing psychosis for the first time, with a particular focus on those who would not otherwise access care.

Mental health is the highest burden of disease for 12-25 year olds and demand for services continues to outstrip supply, with particularly high demand in the growth corridors of Melton, Hume and Wyndham.

NWMPHN Executive Director of Mental Health Julie Borninkhof said many young people with significant needs are missing out on treatment, which can lead to further deterioration of their mental health.

“Data from our partners Orygen show only about one in four young people who are referred to their specialist service ultimately meet criteria and access services through their centres,” Ms Borninkhof said.

“We’re looking to fund services that can reach young people who don’t end up accessing treatment, but who could really benefit from personalised, holistic support.”

Ms Borninkhof said youth mental health is a key focus in Melbourne’s north and west, with data from Headspace showing greater progression of mental illness among young people in our region.

“We want to make sure there is support available for people at an early stage, before they are at risk of more serious interventions like hospitalisation.

“It’s really an urgent issue for us, which is why we are working to establish partnerships as quickly as possible and get services operating from early next year.”

The request for tender period runs from 4 – 25 November, with successful providers to be announced in late December. All request for tender forms and more information on service and provider requirements is available on our Tenders page.