35 Poplar Road,
The Victorian Government invested $60 million to redevelop the Orygen and OYH Poplar Road precinct completed in November 2018. The new precinct houses the Orygen Youth Health Services clinical program and Orygen, the National Centre of Excellence in Youth Health.
The award winning clinical and research centre is designed for young people with serious mental illness. It supports the Victorian Government’s long-term vision to provide greater access and choice of services for young people living with mental illness.
The Orygen and OYH Poplar Road precinct redevelopment aimed to achieve the following benefits:
Evidence based treatment for young people
The new precinct provides dedicated mental health treatment and services to young people aged 15-24 living in the west and north-west of Melbourne.
Operated by Melbourne Health, Orygen Youth Health, provides comprehensive clinical services including community-based care, psychological treatment, psychosocial programs and peer and family support services with the capacity to treat up to 5,000 young people each year.
When young people receive the evidence-based care they need to manage their mental health, their quality of life can be improved, and they can become more active participants in society. By providing young people with the services they need and intervening early, specialists can help them reduce the length and severity of their illnesses.
The precinct design involved input from over 140 young people to ensure the facilities had a democratic and non-hierarchical feel. Young people contributed ideas on the furniture, design of consulting rooms, and even on the design of the bathrooms.
The result is a space designed to feel inclusive and safe, and blurs the distinction between client, visitor, researcher and educator.
Young people can now access clinical services in a comfortable and safe environment, designed to be more conducive to their needs.
Improved research and training outcomes
The new precinct was designed to as a centre of research for health professionals in search of new and better treatments for young people living with mental illness.
Researchers now have facilities that support them to undertake more quality research and to share their knowledge to help upskill other healthcare workers.
A focus on prevention and early intervention can support more mental health professionals to be trained in world-class youth mental healthcare.
Connection to the natural environment
The building was also designed to reflect the natural beauty of the surrounding landscape. Natural, laminated timbers and curved, irregular shapes were used throughout. Various intertwining levels and open spaces for walking and talking were also included. The consulting rooms have access to outside decks so young people have space to debrief, settle and reflect. These attributes have earned the precinct multiple local and global design awards.
This project was delivered by the Victorian Health and Human Services Building Authority in partnership with:
Melbourne Health (Orygen Youth Health)
Orygen, the National Centre of Excellence in Youth Mental Health
The Victorian Government provided $60 million toward the new facility. Additional financial contributions to the construction were provided by the Colonial Foundation, the University of Melbourne, the Ian Potter Foundation and the Australian Government.