YFlex uses an assertive outreach model with integrated clinical care
Flexible mental health support for young people in Northeast Victoria

Young people sitting on a bench inside

The Eastern Melbourne Primary Health Network (EMPHN) recently announced $2.5 million dollars’ funding to support young people aged from 12-25 who have or at risk of developing severe mental health issues. As part of this funding increase, Neami will deliver a program named “Flexible Intensive Mental Health Support for Young People”, known as YFlex.

YFlex will operate in the catchment areas of Whittlesea and parts of Mitchell and Murrindindi Shires. Those who are facing significant barriers to accessing mental health services, are geographically isolated, or have a lack of service options, and are from diverse backgrounds will have priority access to the service. 

YFlex works within an assertive outreach model with integrated clinical care, including two Allied Health workers and a Psychiatrist. The team will be led by former Neami Regent Service Manager Emma Storen, and includes two Peer Support Workers and a Community Rehabilitation and Support Worker.

The program delivers recovery‐focused support integrated with clinical care that maximises early intervention for young people who are hard to reach. The team will use mobile technology to maximise time spent with young people. Service provision will also make use of digital platforms including online forums, video consultations, and social media messaging for regular engagement. Our approach to maximising the service effectiveness with technology extends to online meeting spaces that enable support and connections for family and friends at convenient times.

Early intervention aims to minimise interruption to young people’s developmental trajectory and community participation. The focus will be supporting engagement with education, employment, leisure, family and social networks through the provision of secure relational engagement and active outreach. The service will reconnect the young person with mainstream health, mental health and community support as soon as they are ready, with capacity for rapid re-engagement if required.

Neami will rely on its strong working alliance with the area Child and Adolescent Mental Health and Adult Area Mental Health services to ensure acutely unwell young people involved with the service can access hospital beds when and if they need them. 

YFlex will begin taking referrals later in the year following recruitment, setup and implementation. For more information about the program contact Emma Storen at emma.storen@neaminational.org.au 

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