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DHSChild and Youth Mental Health Service Redesign Demonstration Projects

The demonstration projects will provide a structural framework to support and share learning and to inform the statewide reform agenda.  While the focus will be on trialing new ways of improving service access and responsiveness, it is not intended that the demonstration projects will pre-empt changes to governance of mental health services. The findings of the demonstration projects will, however, inform future directions in this area.

2.2 Scope of reform

The demonstration projects will require redesign of the way that services are currently provided, including the timing of responses, the type of interventions employed, the partnerships required and the service settings and locations.  

Consortium partners and others services will be expected to make a concerted early effort to define the medium to longer term reform vision for the project area consistent with the intention of the directions being proposed for the Mental Health Reform Strategy, which will provide the statewide context for local action.  A reform action plan to be developed by the consortia (see section 2.8) will describe the staging of initiatives and innovations.

While the development of a reform action plan will be informed by and aligned with local needs, responses to a number of key questions about 0-25 reforms will be sought through project activities irrespective of the catchment area. These include:

How can barriers to seamless, effective mental health care for those with severe illness and complex problems across this age range be removed within specialist mental health services and between specialist services and other service sectors?

How can clinical and PDRSS responses for young people with serious mental illness become better integrated, more age-appropriate and recovery focused?

How can new early intervention services for children (0-12) and young people (12-25) best operate in partnership with primary care networks that increase the number of children and young people with a broader range of problems and disorders being assessed and treated earlier and more effectively?

How can partnerships best work to promote an integrated response between mental health services, early childhood services, child & family services, schools, support, housing and educational/vocational services?

How can program partners take better account of the particular needs of vulnerable young people involved with child protection and youth justice in service provision?

In responding to these questions, service redesign and reform endeavours must take into account the particular and changing mental health needs across the developmental spectrum within the 0-25 year old cohort. Consortia will consider and develop service responses for infants and pre-school children, primary-school-aged children, young adolescents of secondary school age, older adolescents and young adults.

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