Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS)
There is a CAMHS located within each of the health regions in Victoria. Mental health services are provided for young people with serious emotional disturbance up to the age of 18 years. They provide both clinical and community outreach services. They also have one Mental Health Promotion Officer (MHPO) per region.
MHPOs were funded in 1997 by the Victorian Government as one of a number of mental health promotion and suicide prevention strategies. MHPOs focus on the mental health needs of children and adolescents and work with CAMHS and other mental health services, and the health, welfare and education sectors, to improve understanding of and responsiveness to children’s and young people’s needs and assist in developing environments that promote resilience and enhance wellbeing. They do this by increasing the capacity of and collaboration with the primary care, education and community services sectors. MHPOs also work to improve the community’s awareness of mental health issues and services.
Organisational Structure & Culture
MHPOs work at the Regional and State-wide levels to facilitate and resource a systemic approach to promoting the mental health of young people. They also work to improve the community’s awareness of mental health issues and services.
Why Might They be Involved in an FHL Project?
The MHPO is available to increase the skills and confidence of those who work with vulnerable young people in the assessment, intervention and management of behaviour which places young people at risk of suicide. Adolescence is a time of great opportunity for health promotion and creates opportunities for people such as teachers and youth group leaders who may not see their programs as addressing health issues.
Which Positions/Programs Within the Organisation Might be Involved?
Mental Health Promotion Officers (MHPOs).
Some Pointers for an Effective Relationship
• MHPOs play a key role in the FHL and are a wealth of knowledge and information. With advance notice they are able to respond to requests for their services.
• Early forward planning to book in dates for the year ahead.