In this section
The Royal Children's Hospital (RCH) Mental Health is committed to supporting the mental health needs of children, young people and their families during the challenging times of the COVID-19 pandemic. We are aware of the difficulties that many young people and their families are experiencing and have adapted our services to meet these needs. Our priority is to minimise risk to the health and safety of both our staff and service users.
Outpatient services provided by our community teams and RCH-based specialist clinics are mainly delivered by Telehealth at present, with some scope for face-to-face appointments; these are conducted in accordance with COVID-safe guidelines.
Telehealth is a consultation with a health professional that you can attend via a video call from your own home using a phone, tablet, laptop or computer. You will need to have a confirmed appointment before you can access it. Our referral process remains the same - for more details please scroll down to the “Eligibility” section.
For general information on how to use Telehealth, please go to: www.rch.org.au/telehealth/
If you need to contact us for any reason, e.g. to arrange for an appointment, to change or cancel an appointment, to get support from our Carer Consultant or to give feedback, you can do so through one of the channels outlined in the 'Contact us' section in the sidebar.
Our Banksia Adolescent Inpatient Unit based in the hospital is operating as normal, with COVID-safe practices and restrictions put in place.
In an emergency, call 000 or attend the nearest Emergency Department.
The RCH Mental Health is a service you can turn to when there are serious concerns about an infant’s, child’s or adolescent’s mental health and wellbeing.
We provide a range of hospital inpatient, specialist, consultation and community mental health services for infants, children and adolescents/young people. Our teams are generally interdisciplinary (a mix of mental health care professionals of different backgrounds). They have extensive child, youth and family expertise. We assess young people and offer a range of ways to help in recovery from a mental illness.
Our mental health professionals include:
Choice, partnership and participation by young people and their families/carers are central to how we work. In addition to our direct clinical work, we support organisations and professionals working with infants, children, adolescents and families through:
For more information see our brochure
What to expect at our mental health service in English, an
Arabic translation of this brochure, and a
Vietnamese translation of this brochure
The new Mental
Health and Wellbeing Act commences from the 1st of September 2023.
Mental Health in
Victoria is going through an exciting change. In Victoria, there was a Royal
Commission into the Mental Health System which recommended the establishment of
a new Mental Health and Wellbeing Act, replacing the Mental Health Act (2014). The
new Act has an increased focus on human rights and emphasises the importance of
supported decision-making and rights, and rights and recognition of the
valuable support of family and carers.
The RCH, Melbourne,
is a designated mental health facility and is regulated under the Act.
We look forward to
collaboratively working together with young people and their families, carers
and support people in making their experience a positive and therapeutic step
in their recovery journey.
The Act is based on
13 principles that all mental health and wellbeing providers must abide by:
- Diversity of care
- Least restrictive
- Supported decision
- Family and carers
- Lived experience
- Health needs
- Dignity of risk
- Wellbeing of young
- Diversity principle
- Gender safety
- Cultural safety
- Wellbeing of
To read the Act and
Regulations click the following links:
Links to the forms
used under the Act are below.
Please remember to use
colour copies for original documents.
by the Department of Health:
Link to 'Statement
of Rights'. A paper copy of which must be provided to the consumer admitted to
RCH for mental health related reasons, as well as their and family/carer/support
Resources used for
training are available through the links below:
Please contact us if you:
Our services are mainly for young people aged 0-15
years and their families who live in the Western and Northwestern metropolitan
regions of Melbourne. See our map on
this page .
From 28th November 2023 our community
outpatient services are provided for 0-11yo (until twelfth birthday) with
Orygen Specialist Programs providing services for young people over this age. We
provide assessment and treatment for infants, children and adolescents with the
most severe and complex mental illnesses. There are a range of other places you
can access for mild to moderate difficulties and illnesses. See our community
resources sections for children, adolescents and parents and carers more
details. We also have a range of statewide services that young people up to the
age of 18 may be able to use too. It is best to check with our Intake (Triage)
Team to be sure. A general rule is if you need our help:
Here is a link from the Victorian Department of Health that tells you whether a child lives in a suburb to which we
generally provide community-based outpatient services.
Our services are generally free of charge or
Medicare bulk-billed. For inpatient care you may be asked about the option of
using your private health insurance at no cost to you.
If you are unsure about whether your child would
benefit from mental health care or our service, you may wish to talk to someone
about whether a referral is appropriate. Please see details of how to contact us.
Self referrals (by the young person or their parent or carer) can be made,
although generally it is good to have seen your local doctor (a GP), specialist
doctor (e.g. Paediatrician) or other health care worker or school support
Everyone seeking or receiving care at RCH Mental Health has certain rights and responsibilities with regard to access, safety, respect, information, participation, privacy and complaints. Our service is committed to ensure that these rights and responsibilities are recognised and upheld at all times
It is important that families accessing and using our service know and understand their rights and responsibilities
The following short video was developed to give parents and carers an overview of such rights and responsibilities
Speakers of Vietnamese can view a translated version of this video below.
Bệhn Viện Tâm Thần Nhi Ðồng – Thông tin dành cho gia dình: Quyền lợi và trách nhiệm
For detailed information about your rights and responsibilities please refer to our brochure Your rights and responsibilities. Charter for parents and carers.
We have also produced a Rights and Responsibilities Checklist to help you make sure you are receiving all the information about your rights and responsibilities, and that they are being taken seriously throughout your involvement with our service.
Mental Health believes in the vision and values of the RCH. We strive for better mental health and wellbeing for infants, children and adolescents with their families, carers and communities.
We are committed to achieving our goals and improving mental health outcomes through
Read about the Festival for Health Living.
If there is an urgent concern about an infant, child or adolescent’s mental health and wellbeing:
For all other times, please see details of how to