The Innovation and Change Award recognised MercyCare’s dynamic and collaborative approach to developing Amber Youth Wellness, a free specialist mental health program empowering young people, aged 12-25 years, to take control of their mental health.
The service was designed in collaboration with young people with experience of mental health issues, carers, medical practitioners and mental health experts.
Young people can select from several treatment options including counselling, peer support and group activities in locations most convenient for them, such as their home, a nearby café, via phone or online.
The program, funded by the Commonwealth Government via the WA Primary Health Alliance, is available to people living in Perth’s northern suburbs, with moderate to severe mental health needs or facing complex life challenges.
It reached capacity shortly after it launched in May, highlighting the need for the service.
About 50 young people from a range of backgrounds, including Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander, culturally and linguistically diverse and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, queer +, are currently registered with the program.
MercyCare Community, Family and Children Services Executive Director David Holden said the award recognised the hard work and collaboration that made Amber Youth Wellness a success.
“Congratulations to everyone that worked on this program, especially to the young people who shared their lived experience and insights to help shape this program into the unique service it is today,” Mr Holden said.
“This WA Mental Health award reinforces MercyCare’s commitment to put people at the heart of our services and in this case, young people.
“Young people, their experiences and their input were absolutely central to the design and subsequent success of the Amber Youth Wellness program.”