Young people with mental health issues in the Warrnambool area have access to a new early intervention service, Minister for Mental Health Lisa Neville announced today.
Lisa Neville made the announcement after the Youth Early Psychosis (YEP) service began operating at South West Health Care earlier this year.
“The expansion of the Youth Early Psychosis service to the Warrnambool area means that local young people will have access to treatment and support services which are focused on their needs,” Ms Neville said.
“Early intervention means that people aged between 16 and 25, who are experiencing or at risk of a first episode of psychosis, get treatment fast.
“The evidence is that if we intervene early these young people respond well to the treatment provided and are less likely to develop ongoing mental health problems.”
The Bracks Government has made it a priority to expand early intervention services throughout Victoria.
The 2006-07 State Budget provided $1.5 million in recurrent funding to establish three new YEP services at Box Hill, Warrnambool and Ballarat.
Funding for YEP services has more than doubled since 2003-04 and reached $5.5 million in 2006-07, providing an extra 56 positions dedicated to YEP services across Victoria.
Local MP Gayle Tierney welcomed the announcement.
“This important new service can be accessed through South West Health Care and while based in Warrnambool will provide a service response across the southwest,” Gayle Tierney said.
“Assisting young people with mental health issues is a high priority for the Bracks Government and this service is a good example of what can be achieved in our communities.”
In 2005-06 YEP services assisted more than 1,200 young Victorians and this new service provided by South West Health Care is expected to assist more than 80 young people each year.