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Regional Vic to benefit from the mental health budget

Bendigo Y-PARC to be refurbished under the 21/22 budget.

Bendigo Youth Prevention and Recovery Care unit (Y-PARC) will undergo significant refurbishment as part of Victoria’s 2021/22 budget.

The 2021/22 budget, revealed yesterday, invests $3.8 billion to overhaul the state’s mental health system. Children and young people will benefit from this boost of mental health services as $842 million of the overall budget will go towards their mental health and well-being support services.

The government is allocating $141 million of that package to upgrade the three existing Y-PARCs in Bendigo, Dandenong and Frankston and to build another five new facilities in Melbourne’s north-eastern metropolitan region, Barwon south-west, Gippsland, Grampians and Hume regions.

Member for Bendigo East Jacinta Allan said the refurbishment of Bendigo Y-PARC will support young Victorian’s recovery.

“This investment means more young people will be able to receive treatment and care close to their family, social networks and local community, which we know contributes positively to clinical and personal recovery,” she said.

The Y-PARCs is designed to support young people’s recovery that’s balanced out with social support. The facilities will have a total of 50 beds for young people aged 16 to 25 and will be equipped with private bedrooms and ensuite bathrooms. It will also provide communal kitchens, dining and living areas, breakout spaces and an outdoor garden for recreational activities and family visits.

The Andrews Labor Government decided to centre mental health in this financial year budget as one in five Victorians struggle with poor mental health, according to the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).

“Our mental health system is failing young Victorians and their families,” Minister for Mental Health James Merlino said. “This is the case right across the state including right here in Bendigo. All the research tells us it’s critical we give our young people the mental health support they need, early and that is exactly what we are delivering.”

As part of rebuilding the state’s mental health system, the government will also distribute a $200 million School Mental Health fund for schools to attend to their needs. The fund will allow schools to deliver a wide range of evidence-based programs, staff and other support measures that are needed. All rural and regional schools will be prioritised and will receive the funding from Term 3 next year. Metropolitan schools will follow from 2023.


Photo: Silver round coins on blue round container by Nick Fewings available HERE and used under a Creative Commons Attribution. The image has not been modified.

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