National Centre for Excellence in Youth Mental Health

By Petrina Smith
Thursday, 09 October, 2014

Australia's first National Centre of Excellence in Youth Mental Health has been established to help find new and innovative treatments to better the lives of young people.
Being operated by Orygen Youth Health Research Centre in Melbourne and funded by the Australian Governement, the centre will build on Orygen's decades of expertise in the sector.
When announcing the $18 million funding, Health Minister peter Dutton said the centre will play a lead role in reducing the impact of mental health disorders in young people and enabling them to live fuller lives.
“The National Centre of Excellence in Youth Mental Health will be an important feature of Australia’s world leading medical research landscape, ultimately, driving positive change for young Australians and their families,” Mr Dutton said.
It will undertake clinical trials; invest in research; provide training, support and information to mental health clinicians and service planners; and develop new ways to treat people with mental illness.
Orygen Chairman, Peter Smedley, welcomed the government’s support for the centre, saying it represents an important step forward in bolstering Australia’s youth mental health research, service delivery and clinical systems.
“Youth mental health is a critical issue worth investing in and we are grateful for this continued government support.  Approximately one million young people experience mental ill-health in Australia each year. This has personal, social and economic ramifications in our community.
“Recognising Orygen as The National Centre of Excellence in Youth Mental Health builds on the organisation’s 22 year history of delivering cutting-edge research, policy development and evidence-based training and education in Australia,” said Mr Smedley.
The National Centre will focus on innovation and workforce development. In particular, the Centre will investigate the impact of enhanced mental health services on lifting national productivity and reducing deliberate self-harm and suicide in young people.
Professor Patrick McGorry, AO said by translating cutting edge research into evidence-based policy development, innovative clinical services and training and education, treatments and care provided to young people will continue to improve.
“The announcement of the Centre is a watershed moment as we move to a National mandate for Orygen.  We’re focusing on new research, new treatments, new skills and knowledge for professionals working with young people around Australia.
“The investment and support for the Centre is a beacon of hope for young people living with mental ill-health. Drawing on a world class collective intellect, we will provide practical and innovative treatment solutions to better the lives of young people now and well into the future,” said Professor McGorry, AO.
Orygen, The National Centre of Excellence in Youth Mental Health, is based in Parkville, Melbourne.

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