Over several years, the Youth Coalition has worked collaboratively with government and community stakeholders to progress initiatives to work towards an integrated child and youth mental health sector.
ACT Child and Youth Mental Health Sector Alliance
Building on the ‘Review of Children and Young People’ undertaken by the Office for Mental Health & Wellbeing in 2019, the Youth Coalition partnered with OMHW and Capital Health Network to undertake the ‘Missing Middle’ project. These activities and partnerships led to the development of the new ACT Child and Youth Mental Health Sector Alliance.
The Alliance aims to provide a structured, formal mechanism for government, community stakeholders, the private sector and people with lived experience, to connect and work collaboratively towards improving mental health service system responses for children and young people. The Alliance is led by OMHW, CHN and the Youth Coalition, with support from a Coordinating Committee of key stakeholders.
Key activities undertaken in 2022-23 towards establishing the Alliance included:
- Conducting two strategic planning forums with sector stakeholders to plan and design a structure and processes for the Alliance
- Development of a draft Terms of Reference and key processes for the Alliance
- Establishment of a ‘Coordinating Committee’ through an open EOI process to provide governance support. The Coordinating Committee includes representatives from key government and community services, academia, and the OMHW Youth Reference Group
Initial funding to support the continued establishment and delivery of the Alliance was provided in the 2023-24 ACT Budget.
Other child and youth mental health advocacy and initiatives
Alongside the ACT Child and Youth Mental Health Sector Alliance, the Youth Coalition has been involved in a range of related activities in the child and youth mental health sector. Through our involvement in these activities, the Youth Coalition seeks to support the development of linkages between projects and stakeholders to work towards a more integrated service system. Examples of these initiatives include:
- MindMap Youth Navigation Portal: The Youth Coalition participates in the Evaluation Advisory Group and the Governance Group. Prior to this, the Youth Coalition conducted consultation and user-testing to inform the development of the portal.
- ANU Young People’s Journeys around Mental Health and Medical Services Study (JAMMed) – Longitudinal Qualitative Study: The Youth Coalition is supporting a longitudinal study that will examine young people’s experiences in the ACT mental health system (see also: Youth Participation and Youth-Led Activities).
- CAMHS consultations: The Youth Coalition is currently conducting consultations with young people and parents/carers regarding their experiences with CAMHS (see also: Research and Evaluation).
- WOKE advocacy campaign: The Youth Coalition conducted a targeted advocacy campaign to seek interim funding for the WOKE program.
- Youth Mental Health System Model: The Youth Coalition participated in a University of Sydney project to develop a youth mental health system model for the ACT.
- Headspace: The Youth Coalition participates on the combined Headspace Canberra and Tuggeranong consortium.