Mental health problems are the most common health issues facing young people worldwide, according to the Global Burden of Disease Study 2017. One in four Australians aged 16–24 will experience mental illness in any given year.
For children and young people, intervention early in life and early in mental illness can reduce its duration and impact. Without access to mental health services, young people are at risk of ongoing problems that may affect their engagement with education and employment, and lead to greater contact with human services and the justice system.
This audit assessed whether child and youth mental health services are effectively preventing, supporting and treating child and youth mental illness. We examined how the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) designs and administers child and youth mental services, and facilitates access and service coordination for the most vulnerable and complex clients.
We made 20 recommendations for DHHS.