Better access for youth mental health services
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Better access for youth mental health services

Young people across the region in out-of-home care will have priority access to mental health services under the new Chief Psychiatrist’s Guideline, according to Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull.

Mr Bull said, the guideline introduces priority services for infants, children and young people in out-of-home care who suffer from mental illness, a significant developmental delay, functional impairment and emotional or psychological distress.

“These young people have often had experiences in their lives which warrants them getting priority access to services they desperately need. Joining these services is critical to making sure this happens for children in out-of-home care,” said Mr Bull.

Minister for Mental Health, Mary Wooldridge, said the responsibility for providing support does not rest solely with one service or person, and that staff would now have the training and support to understand the situations of these young people.

“Not surprisingly, children and young people who have experienced significant trauma have a high incidence of mental illness and behaviours such as substance abuse and self-harm,” Ms Wooldridge said.

“We recognise that we need to take action for children who have been neglected and abused to support them to get their lives back on track.”

Mr Bull said, “it’s time to put individual young people back at the centre of the service and the guideline will assist in doing this. It says to them, yes you are a priority of our support”.