The Government of Western Australia (WA) has inaugurated a new A$7.1m ($4.6m) Community Infant, Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (ICAMHS) hub in the South West. 

This new hub will provide integrated care through a range of services, including face-to-face clinics, community outreach, and telehealth services.  

It was developed after extensive consultation with individuals who have firsthand experience with the mental health system, healthcare professionals, and the local community.  

Based on this consultation, the hub is set to offer a model of care that serves as a primary point of contact for children and young people in need of mental health support. 

The facility is staffed by a multidisciplinary team tasked with delivering integrated mental healthcare services to patients. 

For those with more complex needs, the hub will also provide access to specialist services.  

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In addition to clinical services, the hub will employ peer support workers with personal experience in the mental health system, as well as specialist ICAMHS Aboriginal Mental Health Workers to offer cultural intervention, along with liaison services for clients and families.  

It is also expected to collaborate closely with some of the local community-based organisations such as Headspace and Youth Focus, as well as other healthcare providers in the WA region, including Perth Children’s Hospital and Fiona Stanley Hospital.  

The establishment of the Community ICAMHS comes as a direct response to the recommendations made by the Ministerial Taskforce into Public Mental Health Services for Infants, Children and Adolescents aged between zero to 18 years in Western Australia.  

The task force’s report highlighted the need for transformative mental health services for children and young people across the state. 

WA Mental Health Minister Amber-Jade Sanderson said: “I am extremely pleased to see this new service launched in the South West, providing greater support to children, young people and their families experiencing mental health issues. 

“We know that timely access to assessment, care, and speciality treatment for children and young people has a dramatic effect on their recovery. This new service model enhances the way clinicians work with children and their families and is designed to make care more accessible now and into the future.”