Hon Helen Morton MLC

Hon Helen Morton MLC

Former Minister for Mental Health; Disability Services; Child Protection

    $1.8m for regional youth mental health services

    21/10/2015 10:05 AM
    • $1.8 million investment for at-risk youth in regional WA
    • Innovative 'no wrong door' approach to help youth aged 16-24
    • Care teams to include consultant psychiatrists

    Mental Health Minister Helen Morton today announced State Government funding of $1.8 million to provide potentially life-saving mental health services to young people aged between 16 and 24 in regional Western Australia.


    Making the announcement in Bunbury at the opening of the Rural and Remote Mental Health Conference, Mrs Morton said the money would fund specialist mental health teams to work with young people with mental illness in the South-West and the Pilbara.


    "The Targeted Youth Mental Health Initiative will help young people at the critical age when emerging mental illness can be prevented from becoming more serious," the Minister said.


    "This new service will look and feel different to other services and will help young people to get well, stay well and reach their full potential."


    About three-quarters of all severe mental illness starts before the age of 24 and suicide accounts for nearly a quarter of all deaths in the 20-24 age group.


    Mrs Morton said the new service would be nimble and responsive.


    "It will have legs; it will go into workplaces, hospitals, homes, training centres, schools or wherever it needs to in order to respond to young people in need," she said.


    "There will be a clearly outlined way to provide the care and services a young person needs, regardless of how they first come to us.


    "No matter where a young person first presents - a local mental health service, Aboriginal health service, a drug and alcohol service, a hospital, or even the police - they will be accessing a clear and consistent model of care."


    The development of multi-disciplinary teams, including consultant psychiatrists, to work in the Pilbara and South-West will start shortly.  It is expected the program will be expanded to include all other regions.


    Fact File

    • The Rural and Remote Mental Health Conference runs from October 20-23
    • The conference has been held biennially since the late 1980s and focuses on specific approaches to mental health care in regional and remote WA

    Minister's office - 6552 6900