A new $1.5 million mobile mental health service will offer intensive treatment to children and young people in the Redlands and Bay Island areas of Brisbane.
The Minister for Rural Health, Senator Bridget McKenzie and Federal Member for Bowman, Dr Andrew Laming launched the new pilot service today.
Minister McKenzie said the new pilot program would specifically target ‘hard to reach’ young people with severe or complex mental health issues in the local community.
“This new service aims to improve access to intensive mental health treatment services for young people aged between eight and 25 years,” Minister McKenzie said.
“Sometimes the mental health issues facing these young people are too complex or too severe to be effectively managed by existing services, or a more flexible approach to assessment and treatment may be required.
“This new pilot program will fill this service gap and better support these young people to get the help they need at a time when they are at their most vulnerable.”
Federal Member for Bowman, Dr Andrew Laming, said the new service followed an extensive review of the local mental health support network by the local Primary Health Network (PHN).
“The Brisbane South PHN, through community consultations and analysis of local health data, identified a strong need for this type of service,” Mr Laming said.
“The PHN has commissioned Aftercare, which is experienced in providing mental health services to children and young people, to provide the mobile outreach service.
“This format gives it the flexibility to take support directly to the areas where it is most needed.
“Aftercare’s community hub will also extend its operating hours to assist with assessments and treatment referrals.
“This new service is a welcome addition to mental health support network for children and young people in the Redlands and Bay Islands area.”
Minister McKenzie said the Australian Government, through the PHN, would provide $1.5 million for the pilot program through to the end of June 2019.
“This program will provide help to vulnerable, hard to reach young people who often don’t engage in traditional mental health services,” she said.
“It’s a great example of how PHNs are taking innovative approaches to strengthen our primary health care system at the local level.”
The Coalition Government has invested $4.3 billion on mental health this financial year, which includes the recently announced investment of $10 million to headspace for youth mental health services and support.