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Expansion of Community-based Youth Centres and What It Means to Young People

Updated: Aug 22, 2021

“There are risks and costs to a program of action. But they are far less than the long- range risks and costs of comfortable inaction.” — John F. Kennedy

Young people of today are the target of so many issues in our society. Because they are the most vulnerable, they tend to suffer the most without a fight. These issues seem to pile up as years go by, mainly because of how adults have failed to change the way things are including so many injustices. Apart from the lack of opportunities for them to develop their skills let alone, even go to school because of poverty, there’s also the health safety due to the coronavirus. Latest reports are saying that more and more kids are contracting the virus. Those factors plus personal problems they don’t have the power to solve will affect their mental health, which has now become a crisis.

The Victorian government has made efforts to ensure young people living in Victoria have access to mental health services. Back in May, the government established a prevention and recovery care program meant to help young people in Bendigo. This is a multi-million dollar initiative for a decade-long development and reform. Recently, in addition to this initiative, the expansion of community-based centres.

The Victorian Budget 2021/2022 has allotted $141 million for a project to expand as well as upgrade the Youth Prevention and Recovery Care (YPARC) across the state of Victoria. The Minister for Mental Health James Merlino announced that he is welcoming Expressions of Interest for Principal Consultant architecture services to lead the design of such project.

What is the Expressions of Interest or EOI? It’s a serious interest with a formal offer coming from a particular buyer with the intention to pay a certain amount of money in order to fund a project. This will give opportunity for anyone who wants to invest in something that would change the lives of so many young people.

YPARC or Youth Prevention Recovery Care plays an important role in the youth’s mental health care. The Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System was created to enforce any laws that could potentially help young people long-term. It was designed to accommodate the needs of people living in Victoria with mental health problems, and at the same time, provide recommendations on how to solve these problems.

The key recommendation of the Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System is for YPARC to provide flexible, around-the-clock clinical care for people aged 16-25 in order to provide early intervention care. This will serve as an alternative to hospital admission with recovery-focused treatment.

This upgrade will have the North Eastern Metropolitan, Barwon South West, Gippsland, Grampians, and Hume regions receive new facilities with 10 available beds. Centres in Bendigo, Dandenong, and Frankston will receive funding for expansion and upgrades as well. These facilities were designed to provide a healthy environment for patients. These will include private bedrooms, high-class bathrooms, communal kitchens, dining areas, communal areas, plus spaces that will allow outdoor activities. It will encourage family visits to help in their faster recovery. When these young people have a healthy body and mind, it would also boost a nation for they will become future professionals that would contribute to the economy.

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