Swan Hill Youth Mental Health Project

Swan Hill Youth Mental Health Project


Swan Hill Interagency Youth Service System Guidelines

The Inaugural Swan Hill Youth Mental Health Collaboration Workshop was held on 12 March 2015 at the Swan Hill Town Hall.

The event was initiated by the Swan Hill Youth Mental Health Executive Coalition to strengthen the co-ordinated and collaborative care response to young people who require the support of multiple services putting young people squarely in the centre of focus.

The workshop was for all staff delivering mental health services to young people aged 12-25 in Swan Hill. A total of 97 workers attended the event which was opened by three members of the Executive Coalition and the Swan Hill Youth Mental Health Project Youth Advocate Ashley Morgan, who gave an inspiring welcome to all participants to begin the day.

The main focus of the day was presenting the Swan Hill Interagency Youth Service System Guidelines.

The development of the guidelines was initiated by the Executive Coalition and they represent a local practice framework for working with young people with complex needs in Swan Hill.

The presentation of the Swan Hill Youth Interagency Service System Guidelines was delivered by several members of the working group who developed the model for Swan Hill. All the presentations and group work sessions were informative and of a high standard.

Swan Hill Interagency Youth Service System Guidelines  (2057 KB)


Swan Hill Youth Mental Health Project Reform Action Plan 2014-2016

The Swan Hill Youth Mental Health Executive Coalition has released the Swan Hill Youth Mental Health Project Reform Action Plan 2014-2016.

The Swan Hill Youth Mental Health Executive Coalition, a consortium of 13 key stakeholders, was established to implement the recommendations of the Youth Mental Health Swan Hill Report which was released in September 2013. The Executive Coalition has strong representation from government, clinical and community based sectors and has demonstrated strong leadership in developing this plan.

The vision of the Executive Coalition is to promote good mental health so that Swan Hill's young people are resilient and well-supported. A key priority of the Executive Coalition is to establish an interagency service culture that ensures there is no wrong door for young people seeking support.

The Reform Action Plan Swan Hill 2014-2016 was developed by the Executive Coalition to enhance the delivery of services to young people with complex needs (which may include mental illness).

The Executive Coalition recognises the significant work conducted around youth mental health issues in Swan Hill in the past, and seeks to maintain effort in developing greater coordination and unity in the youth services delivered in Swan Hill. The vision and strategic directions of this plan outline the next steps in the development of a more capable and sustainable youth service system.

Key objectives:

  1. To improve access to, and the coordination of, a range of community based services that meet the mental health and complex needs of young people, their families and carers.
  2. Young people who require multiservice involvement receive a coordinated and collaborative care response to improve outcomes.
  3. Mental health promotion that is localised, organised, and continuous.
  4. Facilitate continuous improvement by recording the impact of service development activities.

Click here to view the plan


Swan Hill Youth Mental Health Report

In response to community concerns regarding youth self-harm and mental health, the Murray PHN (previously Loddon Mallee Murray Medicare Local) established a youth mental health project in December 2012 to conduct an analysis of youth mental health in Swan Hill. The research included meeting with 106 stakeholders from education, health and community service providers. The purpose of the consultation was to gain insight from the perspective of organisations providing services to young people.

The following themes emerged from the consultation:

  • There are a broad range of services to support young people in Swan Hill
  • There is goodwill in the youth sector for quality improvements
  • There is an opportunity to increase collaboration between executive leaders to develop an interagency collaboration model in Swan Hill
  • There is fragmentation in the service system and it needs focus and direction
  • There is opportunity to strengthen youth early intervention services
  • There is opportunity to strengthen acute mental health service provision.

The analysis has also benchmarked Swan Hill with a similar sized community on key mental health data and established an evidence base to inform future action. The investigation revealed that Swan Hill and Echuca have similar proportions of their youth population presenting to their local emergency department for mental health related issues.

While there are equal numbers of young people presenting in the two towns, Swan Hill has a higher percentage of young people presenting multiple times to look for mental health support. The research suggests that some young people are not receiving effective treatment or management in the early stages of their mental health problems and appear to be repeatedly seeking health interventions from the emergency department at Swan Hill District Health.

There is opportunity to improve the access that young people have to coordinated community based supports in Swan Hill; to strengthen their mental health and prevent future problems.

The recommendations of the report present an opportunity to make improvements in the current service system. A forum was convened with Chief Executive Officers and executive leaders in October 2013 to progress the discussions on youth mental health and develop a coordinated and collective strategy to address the identified issues.

Swan Hill Youth Mental Health Report (3022 KB)

For more information on the Swan Hill Youth Mental Health Project contact Ian Johansen on 0448 391 213.

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