Authors: Eastern Health & Shire of Yarra Ranges
Event: 2006 TheMHS Awards
Type of resource: TheMHS Awards
Award state: VIC
Award level: Winner
Award category: Specialist Service or Part of a Larger Service
Abstract: VicChamps and Pats are peer support programs for children (5-12) and young people (12-16) respectively who have parents with a mental illness. In the outer east of Melbourne, these two programs have developed a unique partnership building on collaborations with service providers and young people, resulting in children and young people being able to access support and information about mental illness in an ongoing way. In particular the partnership offers opportunities for children to progress from VicChamps to PATS as young people aged eleven and up ready to learn more, to further develop their leadership skills and to act as mentors for their younger buddies. There are a number of joint activities including a community mural, camps and school holiday programs. Pats peer leaders (‘PATSters’) regularly attend such VicChamps activities as peer facilitators or peer leaders; parents and family members from both groups can meet and benefit from mutual support. Description of Facility/Organisation: Eastern Health Mental Health Program. The Mental Health Program provides mental health services to the eastern region of Melbourne. These services are publicly funded, and include crisis services, inpatient care, community/outpatient, rehabilitation and residential services. The Mental Health Program employs over 600 staff, using a budget of over $50 million. The Shire of Yarra Ranges - Youth Services division is the key service provider for young people across the municipality and is responsible for providing a range of services and activities that supports both young people and their families. Youth Services consists of a team of 16, who are from a range of disciplines. Funding is derived from a range of sources including, Council, Department of Human Services, Department of Victorian Communities, Office for Youth, DHS Mental health branch- Psychiatric Disability Support, Beyond Blue and VicHealth.