News

$16m Youth Mental Health Facility Opens


28 September 2009

The Governor of New South Wales officially opened the $16 million Youth Mental Health building at the University's Brain & Mind Research Institute (BMRI),today (Monday 28 September 2009).

The new facility, which has been funded by the NSW State Government and the University of Sydney, provides 15 clinical and research suites, group rooms and youth-appropriate facilities for those aged 12-25 years. This will support over 30 clinicians and allied research teams including GPs, psychiatrists, clinical psychologists, neuropsychologists, and vocational and education support workers.

Her Excellency the Governor and Chancellor of the University of Sydney Marie Bashir, was joined at the opening by the former Premier of NSW Morris Iemma, the NSW Minister Assisting the Minister for Health (Mental Health and Cancer) the Hon Barbara Perry MP, and the Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the University of Sydney Dr Michael Spence.

Due to its inclusion within the Brain & Mind Research Institute, young people will benefit from access not only to high quality clinical services but also cutting edge brain imaging facilities, neuropsychological assessment, chronobiology and sleep assessment facilities.

The new Youth Mental Health building also includes the Developmental, Neurobiology and Genomics Laboratory led by Professor Thomas Becker, who has recently moved from Germany to continue his research at the BMRI using zebrafish models to investigate the developmental biology of mental illness.

Professor Ian Hickie AM, Executive Director of the Brain & Mind Institute, said: "Emotional and behavioural disorders currently account for over 60 per cent of disability costs in those aged 15-34 years, with 75 per cent of major mental illnesses starting before the age of 25. This major commitment by the University of Sydney and the NSW Government to respond directly to these issues is unique in Australia and world-leading in its philosophy."

The new facility will also house the collaboration between the BMRI and the Inspire Foundation. Inspire is an organisation that combines technology with the direct involvement of young people to deliver innovative and practical online programs that prevent youth suicide and improve young people's mental health and wellbeing.


Notes to Editors:

  • The BMRI is the lead agency for headspace, The National Youth Mental Health Foundation in Macarthur, Campbelltown & Southern Highlands, and soon lead agency for headspace Central Sydney which will include services from the new Youth Mental Health Clinic at Camperdown. Further information is available at: http://www.headspace.org.au

Contact: Jacob O'Shaughnessy

Phone: +61 2 9351 4312 or 0421 617 861