In this section
What do I need to know about the ACPU?
How do I refer my child to the ACPU?
What happens during an assessment and afterwards?
What RCH MHS publications and brochures are available to me on-line?
What is the Rights Charter?
Useful links to other web sites
The Academic Child Psychiatry Unit (ACPU) is a clinical research unit that offers a thorough assessment of young people with various psychiatric and behavioural problems and difficulties. For further information about the functions of the ACPU, please also see the section,
If you would like your child to be referred to the ACPU and participate in clinical research programs and assessments, please see the basic steps outlined below. It is also recommended that you access the links provided below for more detailed information about the ACPU referral and assessment processes.
NOTE: Appointments are bulk billed through Medicare. Please bring your medicare card with you to each appointment.
Please obtain a referral letter from your local doctor (eg GP) and send this to our office. Once a referral is received, we will contact you to schedule an appointment. Please also feel free to contact our office to confirm receipt of a referral and to arrange an appointment.
Please note that if your child is currently a patient of one of the RCH Mental Health Community Teams, you may obtain a GP referral, however please also first talk with your child’s case manager/treating team.
For further information about the referral process, please see the Services and Contact Us.
Once a referral is received, an initial consultation involving a clinical interview will be arranged for you and your child to meet with Prof Alasdair Vance, or a psychiatry registrar/fellow. Then, if appropriate, a comprehensive standardized assessment process may be offered and your child will be placed on our waiting list.
This standardized assessment will take a full day to complete. At the conclusion of an assessment, a feedback session will be arranged for you to come back and meet with Prof Vance (or a psychiatry registrar/fellow) to discuss the results of the assessment. Then, a letter or email will summarise the assessment
findings/results and recommendations, and will be sent to you (legal guardian/carer) and the referral doctor/clinician. If a more detailed clinical report is required this can be requested by contacting our office. To help us determine what would be most helpful, an appointment will be arranged (this can either be a face to face meeting or a phone discussion).
For further information about what happens during an assessment and afterwards, please see the following sections:  Services
,  Key Clinics & Standardised Assessments
Please click on the link below to view publications, fact sheets and brochures available on The Royal Children's Hospital, Mental Health Service (RCH MH) webpage.
RCH MH publications and fact sheets
For information about RCH MH rights and responsibilities and other information for families, please see the link below.