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DHSChild and Youth Mental Health Service Redesign Demonstration Projects

Activities will include:

Collecting and sharing data about local areas of need and disadvantage

Mapping local service responses and developing co-ordination and care pathways in response to community need

Providing a broader range of evidence-based treatment options, tailored to age, severity and the stage of problem or illness.

Establishing a broader range of acute care options such as day programs and intensive community responses.

Better integrating and coordinating flexible service responses across sectors including coordinated mental health and drug and alcohol service provision.

Improving continuity of care across service settings, particularly at critical transition points within services (for example between CAMHS and Adult Mental Health Services).

New service and care models to engage vulnerable ‘at risk’ children, young people and their families who are falling between the gaps of specialist mental health and other services in conjunction with statewide initiatives including those involved with Child Protection and Youth Justice services.

New early intervention services built into or linked to local networks such as Primary Care Partnerships, BestStart and headspace sites utilizing  State, Commonwealth and Local Government investments and optimising access to MBS rebateable services.

Expanding shared care arrangements delivered locally between specialist mental health services, GPs and other private mental health care providers.

An understanding of development and the changing needs of children and young people will underpin the proposed reforms across the 0-25 year old age range.  The projects will need to attend to strengthening intensive treatment and support for those experiencing severe mental illness, as well as aiding early recognition and providing assessment and treatment to a broader range of problems that are less severe and not currently responded to by specialist mental health services.

The projects will focus on social, emotional and behavioural problems in early childhood to the more common problems and high prevalence disorders of childhood and early adolescence and the emergence of substance use problems, to complex conditions and serious illness characteristic of low prevalence disorders more characteristic of later adolescence and young adulthood.

In the first instance, consortia will be required to focus on two priority areas in planning demonstration activity to ensure general system readiness to respond early:


Expanding assessment of and responsiveness to pre-school and primary school aged children who display early signs of social, emotional and behavioural problems.

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