Funding for Victoria’s mental health system

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On Wednesday 19 July we welcomed the Victorian Minister for Mental Health Martin Foley to visit the new Monash Children’s Hospital Neurodevelopment Unit.

The Minister announced a range of additional funding measures for Victoria’s mental health system, including resources for Monash Health’s perinatal and infant programs.

“We know that mental health issues are common and we are working hard to ensure Victorians can access support quicker and easier – to save lives,” Minister Foley said.

Monash Health Board Chair Barbara Yeoh and Chief Executive Andrew Stripp accompanied the Minister on a tour of the construction zone at the rear of the new Monash Children’s Hospital. The Stepping Stones Adolescent Psychiatry Unit and associated services will be moving into the new facility once construction is complete.

Professor David Clarke, Monash Health’s Program Director of Mental Health, said the Early-in-Life Mental Health Service, which includes the Perinatal and Infant Mental Health Unit are focused on providing the best long-term outcomes.

“Early intervention with a range of support frameworks including medication and psychosocial support, is key. For the Perinatal and Infant Unit, for example, we ensure a range of psychosocial services that support parenting are included,” Prof Clarke said.

“We focus on the mental health of the mother and the bond she forms with her child. With support from family and the wider network we can generate excellent outcomes.”

Professor Clarke said postnatal anxiety or depression affects up to 15% of new mothers, with more women discussing the issue openly than ever before.

For local mother Emily Webb, and her baby Claire, the Monash Health Perinatal and Infant Health Unit became an important part of her life.

“We spent six weeks here in 2016 when Claire was born, and the staff, nurses and doctors were incredible,” Emily said.

“It takes some time to realise that what you’re going through isn’t normal, but also that it’s okay to be struggling and to seek help.”

Now happy and healthy, Emily and partner Matt were extremely appreciative of the care their new family received in Claire’s early days.

“Additional resources so more Mums can get this level of care is fantastic,” Emily said.

For the full Channel Nine story, see below.


Pictured above (centre): Victorian Minister for Mental Health Martin Foley MP and Monash Health Board Chair Barbara Yeoh AM.


Pictured above: Victorian Minister for Mental Health Martin Foley MP, Emily Webb, Matt Keeble, baby Claire, Hong Lim MP and Dr Michael Gordon.

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