New Mental Health Centre Supporting Children And Families

The Allan Labor Government is improving access to support and treatment for children in need of specialised mental health care with Victoria’s first child and family centre now open in Melbourne’s north east.

Minister for Mental Health Ingrid Stitt today attended the official opening of the 12-bed centre operated by Austin Health in Macleod – providing vital residential mental health and wellbeing treatment to children under 11 in an environment that allows them to stay with and be supported by their families.

Designed in consultation with those who have lived experience, the $7.3 million centre is staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week and allows up to three families to stay onsite at one time to receive flexible, family-centred therapy and support from specialist clinicians.

The service provides early intervention to children and their families with access to treatment, care and support in a safe and compassionate residential setting – focusing on the needs of children and families who have experienced trauma and require additional support.

The facility creates a welcoming and healing atmosphere, featuring private rooms and shared living spaces, a communal kitchen, dining, lounge, laundry and family activity areas, outdoor garden areas, along with clinical consulting areas.

The new centre responds to key recommendations made by the Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System to provide more tailored models of care. Services with an early intervention focus are designed to support children and prevent their mental health challenges from escalating and becoming more complex.

The project was delivered by the Victorian Health Building Authority in partnership with Austin Health, Kerstin Thompson Architects and Building Engineering.

Building on this investment, the Victorian Budget 2023/24 invested more than $41 million over two years to support children, young people, and their families.

The Labor Government has invested more than $6 billion in mental health and wellbeing over the last three years – the largest investment in mental health in Victoria’s history, with work underway on 90 per cent of Royal Commission recommendations.