The 2021-22 Victorian State Budget includes $842 million to deliver mental health and wellbeing support for children and young people, to ensure early support for them and their families.

Approximately 75 per cent of diagnosable mental illness first emerges before the age of 25. The projects and services funded in the Budget will deliver early and age-appropriate care, treatment and support to children and young people throughout Victoria. 

A new system designed for children and families 

This investment will establish two distinct streams of care. One will be devoted to families, infants and children aged 0 to 11 and their families. The second will address the needs of young people aged 12 to 25.  

There will be 13 new Infant, Child and Youth Area Mental Health and Wellbeing Services to deliver services that specifically address the needs of children and young people. This means that each young person will be able to access the right amount of treatment, care and support they need to improve.

Three new infant, child and family hubs will also be established. The hubs will create an integrated, one-stop approach to children’s health.

This means that children, young people and their families will not have to go to multiple, unconnected services and retell their story again and again.

The locations for these three new hubs will be selected before the end of 2021.   

New and refurbished Y-PARCs 

Five new Youth Prevention and Recovery Care Units (Y-PARCs) will be established specifically for young people aged 16 to 25 years.

Delivering sub-acute treatment, care and support care, these new services will be in Melbourne’s North Eastern Metropolitan region as well as the Barwon South-West, Gippsland, Grampians and Hume regions. Together, they will provide 50 beds for young people requiring acute care. 

Three existing Y-PARCs in the South Eastern Metropolitan (Frankston and Dandenong) and Loddon Mallee (Bendigo) regions will also receive funding to refurbish their facilities.  
Suicide prevention and support for young people with complex needs 

Four new Hospital Outreach Post-suicidal Engagement (HOPE) services will be designed with and for children and young people. The Child and Youth HOPE service will provide intensive and one-on-one support for younger Victorians who have attempted suicide or serious self-harm.  

The existing Mobile Targeted Assertive Outreach teams will be expanded to be in more locations across Victoria. These teams provide specialised outreach support to young people with multiple and complex needs.  
Improving mental health and wellbeing in schools 

A new School Mental Health Fund will enable schools to deliver tailored mental health and wellbeing support to their students.   

The existing Mental Health in Primary Schools pilot will continue and expand to more Victorian primary schools.  

Additional support will also be available to LGBTIQA+ young people and young people who are carers for a person with a mental health condition. Switchboard’s Rainbow Door will receive funding to increase the support they offer for young Victorians. 

This investment in infant, child and youth mental wellbeing addresses several of the recommendations included in the Royal Commission’s Final Report.  

Find out more about Budget outcomes, including mental health and wellbeing initiatives for children and young people, on the 2021-22 Victorian State Budget website. You can also visit the Health.Vic website for an overview of mental health Budget highlights.