Campus Mental Health Strategy

Why is the Melbourne Children’s Campus focussing mental health?

Lifetime mental health problems begin in childhood. Each year, The Royal Children’s Hospital treats thousands of infants, children and adolescents with established mental health disorders and the even greater numbers of children at risk of poor mental health. These include children with chronic physical illnesses, developmental disorders and children with pre-existing vulnerabilities such as refugee and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and those living in out of home care.

The pandemic has seen an unprecedented surge in the number of children with mental health concerns seeking care, further stretching the capacity of our overburdened healthcare system. The Royal Children’s Hospital (RCH) saw a 35% increase in mental health presentations to their Emergency Department from April-May 2020, compared to the two months prior. Parents’ and carers’ concerns about their children’s mental health have tripled with one in three Australian parents reporting they are worried, compared to one in seven pre-pandemic. These are not new problems that will dissipate once we move past the pandemic. Even before COVID19, one in seven children aged 4-17 years meet criteria for a mental health disorder over a 12-month period

What is the Campus Mental Health Strategy?

The Campus Mental Health Strategy 2021-25 sets out to achieve an integrated approach to infant, child and adolescent (0-18 years) mental health care, research, and education across the Melbourne Children’s Campus. Children, their parents/carers and their families are at the heart of the strategy and have active participation in its design, development and implementation

Our vision is that all infants, children and adolescents and their families will be able to access high quality, equitable and consistent prevention and mental health care where and when they need it to achieve sustained, optimised developmental, health and wellbeing outcomes.

How is the Campus Mental Health Strategy being delivered?

The Strategy is being delivered through five key focus areas:

  • aligning and coordinating Campus mental health research activities
  • improving staff knowledge, skills and confidence to support infants, children, young people and their families through education and training
  • embedding of metal health care across the campus that is:
    • Family centred
    • Trauma informed and focussed on prevention
    • Evidence-based and consistent


Watch these webinars to find out more about the Campus Mental Health Strategy:




Acknowledgement of Country

Australian Aboriginal Flag
Progress Pride Flag
Torres Strait Islander Flag

At Mental Health Central we acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land on which we live, gather and work. We recognise their continuing connection to land, water and community. We pay respect to Elders past, present and emerging.

We acknowledge all people with a lived or living experience of mental ill-health and recovery. At the Campus, we particularly acknowledge children, young people, families, carers, and supporters. We recognise their vital contribution and value the courage of those who share this unique perspective for the purpose of learning and growing together to achieve better outcomes for the Campus, staff, sector, and all people of lived experience.


Proudly supported by The Royal Children’s Hospital Foundation