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Vic doubles youth mental health capacity

Vic doubles youth mental health capacity
Photo: Vic doubles youth mental health capacity
Hundreds more young Victorians will be able to access mental health support after the state government announced five new residential facilities will be built in regional areas.

As part of a doubling of capacity in the state's Youth Prevention and Recovery Care network, $141 million in funding set aside in the budget will help build five 10-bed facilities in Shepparton, Ballarat, Geelong, Heidelberg and Traralgon.

The new centres will support another 900 Victorians aged 16 to 25, as part of a commitment following recommendations from the Royal Commission into Victoria's Mental Health System.

The sites will reduce pressure on hospital beds by providing early intervention care and recovery-focused treatment.

Additionally, three existing YPARC facilities in Bendigo, Dandenong and Frankston will be refurbished and modernised.
Mental Health Minister James Merlino said the new facilities would allow young people to be treated closer to their support networks and community, as was an urgent recommendation by the inquiry.

Dandenong YPARC service manager Doyle Barrow said the facility was "always full" with a long waiting list of people wanting early mental health support.

"We really see a diverse range of mental health presentations, from personality disorders to psychosis, depression and anxiety," he said.

Construction on the new sites will begin next year, to be completed by late 2023, with around 400 local jobs to be created across the state.

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