Authors: ORYGEN Youth Health (formerly MH-SKY Youth Program)
Event: 2004 TheMHS Awards
Type of resource: TheMHS Awards
Award state: VIC
Award level: Finalist
Award category: Consumer-Run Program or Service
Abstract: The Platform Team is a ground breaking project which has drawn on the strengths of young people facing mental health issues to transform a service. It is a program designed by young consumers and driven by their interests and needs. As part of The Platform Team young people have contributed their time and energy to a diverse range of projects all aimed at changing the culture of mental health services. While many services claim it is too hard to engage young consumers in service planning and delivery, The Platform Team is living proof that consumer participation in youth services is possible and brings huge rewards to young people and services. While The Platform Team started as a single group three years ago – it now encompasses a wide range of projects including: young people (consumers) sitting on interview panels to select new staff; producing a newsletter for consumers of the service; community education to reduce stigma and promote help-seeking among young people; training for staff and other youth services from a youth consumer perspective establishing a peer support program for consumers including peer visits to the hospital unit. Description of Facility/Organisation: ORYGEN Youth Health is a specialist mental health service for young people living in the Western and North Western areas of Melbourne. It is unique among Victorian services because of its target age range – 15 to 25 years of age. The service aims to offer assessment and treatment for emerging disorders of mental health in a youth-friendly environment. A comprehensive range of services is offered including mobile outreach, a community treatment team, group programs and family programs. The service also incorporates a major research centre and translation and promotion services which aim to work with the community in a health promotion and prevention framework. Youth/Consumer Participation is being integrated across the service and incorporated into our guiding policies and frameworks. The service is funded through the Department of Human Services Victoria Budget is approximately $8.5 million per annum (this covers clinical and research programs). Staff numbers: 230 (112 clinical and 128 research). Number of active clients: average 750 per annum.