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NSW government announces $2.1 million funding boost for mental illness

“Developmentally appropriate” program: Minister for Mental Health Jai Rowell. Photo: Jonathan Ng “Developmentally appropriate” program: Minister for Mental Health Jai Rowell. Photo: Jonathan Ng
Nanjing Night Net

“Developmentally appropriate” program: Minister for Mental Health Jai Rowell. Photo: Jonathan Ng

“Developmentally appropriate” program: Minister for Mental Health Jai Rowell. Photo: Jonathan Ng

The NSW government has announced that it will contribute an extra $2.1 million to a support program for young people with a mental illness.

A successful trial at Richmond psychiatric rehabilitation centre of the young peoples outreach program (Y-POP) found an 80 per cent reduction in the amount of time spent in hospital by young clients after entry to the program.

Minister for Mental Health Jai Rowell said that those involved with the program made significant progress in a number of aspects of their lives including social engagement, independent living skills, health and well-being, self-esteem and confidence levels.

The program has been running since 2009 in Blacktown and Penrith and children are referred mostly after a period of treatment in a hospital.

“It’s for young people who have trouble connecting with other services,” said Pamela Rutledge, the chief executive of Richmond PRA.

“We go into the kids’ homes, we work with their family, often kids are locked away in their room, they’re so frightened and unwell. [Staff] can basically sit and talk to them and help them reconnect and get them in touch with clinical help if they need it or back to school or work.

“We’ve had amazing success with helping kids avoid hospitalisation. We’ve prevented suicide.”

The successful trial has led to the government committing funding to establish centres in South-Western Sydney, Hunter New England, Nepean Blue Mountains, Northern NSW and Western Sydney local health districts.

“Previous NSW community living support programs for people with severe mental illness have focused on the needs of adults,” Mr Rowell said. This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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