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DHSChild and Youth Mental Health Service Redesign Demonstration Projects

2.3 Reform outcomes

The Because mental health matters green paper discusses key changes required in order to achieve better outcomes for children, young people and their families. Some reforms will be system-wide, such as the goal of strengthening the capacity for early identification and intervention through universal services, and the goal of providing earlier and age-appropriate treatment and support to children and young people with emerging or existing mental health problems and their families. Other goals aim to deliver appropriate mental health support for particular groups of vulnerable young people, such as those who are homeless or on statutory orders. In addition, service responses need to be strengthened for clients who present with complex presentations, such as eating disorders or dual diagnosis. The green paper proposes a new service configuration (Because mental health matters, p. 62) for delivering, and sustaining, this broad reform agenda.

These projects will therefore aim to deliver substantive and measurable change in the interrelated areas of client outcomes and service system capacity. In particular, the projects are expected to deliver:

Outcomes for children, young people and their families:

Earlier and appropriate interventions that minimize the impact of problems on learning and development.

A welcoming culture within services that are easier to access and use.

Earlier access to help through community based services and more rapid responses where problems are severe and complex, and require intensive community and acute hospital care.

A broader range of evidence-based age appropriate treatment options.

More flexible services in familiar local settings such as schools, community health settings, and General Practice (GP) clinics.

Continuity of care across different service types and programs.

Recovery-focused care, where clinical and non-clinical support services work together to address whole-of-life circumstances to maintain or re-establish engagement in age-appropriate and meaningful social activities as part of recovery.

Outcomes for the service system:

The redesign of services and reforms pursued in these projects will result in:

1. More effective and efficient service provision resulting in increased numbers of children and young people with a broader range of mental health problems accessing services, being assessed and, where appropriate, treated earlier.

2. Service delivery based on cross-sector regional planning and the development of functional partnerships that draw upon the broad range of services able to impact upon mental health, and improve access to age-appropriate mental health care within communities.

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