Victorian families will soon have access to a one-stop shop for mental health care and health and wellbeing support for the whole family – with providers selected for three Infant, Child and Family Health and Wellbeing Hubs.
The three hubs will deliver a range of specialist medical and allied health services like paediatricians, psychologists, parenting support and speech pathologists under one roof, making support for mental health concerns easier for families.
The first three Infant, Child and Family Health and Wellbeing Hub lead providers are: IPC Health in Brimbank Melton, Monash Health in Southern Melbourne and Bendigo Community Health Services in Loddon.
The hubs will make seeking support easier for families with children aged 0-11 years experiencing developmental, behavioural and emotional challenges – including access to free assessments for development issues and autism.
Delivering on key recommendations of the Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System and the National Children’s Mental Health and Wellbeing Strategy, the hubs respond to the need for a renewed focus on early intervention and age-appropriate care to meet development and mental health challenges in younger children.
Hub services will be designed in consultation with local communities, people with lived experience as well as local service providers, including Aboriginal Controlled Community Organisations, to ensure service offerings are tailored to local needs and build on existing services and capacity.
The hubs are part of the Andrews Labor Government’s more than $6 billion mental health investment over the past three budgets to kickstart the decade-long reform of the state’s mental health system.
They are a joint commitment of the Victorian and Commonwealth Governments under the Bilateral Agreement on Mental Health and Suicide Prevention to improve multidisciplinary care for infants, children and families.
Under the Agreement, the Commonwealth is providing $22.3 million in funding to Victoria to support the establishment and operation of the hubs as part of its investment to create a national network of Head to Health Kids Hubs.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Mental Health Gabrielle Williams
“These hubs will be a one-stop shop for the support families need for their infants and children, whether that’s specialist mental health treatment, development and autism assessments or paediatrician-led medical care.”
“For too long, there has been a gap in getting younger children the age-appropriate care they need for their wellbeing – these hubs will help deliver the care families need, when they need and closer to home.”
Quotes attributable to the Assistant Minister for Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Emma McBride
“Demand for mental health support has surged to record levels across the country over the past three years, with young Australians in particular experiencing higher rates of psychological distress.”
“The Federal Government is proud to work side-by-side with the Victorian Government to deliver critical, community-based support through these Health and Wellbeing Hubs.”