Expert to talk youth mental health

Pat McGorry 1Former Australian of the Year and internationally-recognised expert on youth mental health, Professor Patrick McGorry will be in Bendigo on 19 November to present a public lecture.

Coordinator of the La Trobe Rural Health School occupational therapy program, Dr Carol McKinstry said that although there has been limited promotion of the lecture the response has been far greater than anticipated.

‘The response has been overwhelming with mental health clinicians throughout northern and central Victoria keen to attend, resulting in a change of venue to cope with the expected numbers,’ said Dr McKinstry.

Dr Carol McKinstry stated that rural mental health was a major emphasis in La Trobe University’s Occupational Therapy program; however it was difficult to gain enough mental health placements given the lack of occupational therapists working in the field. 

‘In his role with Orygen Mental Health, Professor McGorry has worked very closely with occupational therapists and understands the significance of the role that they play in youth mental health.

During his visit Professor McGorry will meet with local youth mental health service clinicians and managers as well as community leaders to hear about issues important to them.

He is particularly interested in the recently established Headspace service in Bendigo so that timely and accessible early intervention can be provided to young people living here.  Rural youth mental health has received much media attention, particularly relating to youth suicide which has wide ranging impacts on families, health workers and communities.

The lecture will take place on Monday 19 November at 3pm in the Circular Lecture Theatre at La Trobe University’s Bendigo Campus.

Members of the public interested in attending the lecture can contact Dr McKinstry on 03 5444 7416 or email


About Professor Patrick McGorry, AO:

Professor Patrick McGorry AO is a leading international researcher, clinician and advocate for mental health reform.

Professor McGorry is Executive Director of Orygen Youth Health, a world-renowned mental health organisation for young people that has put Australia at the forefront of innovation in the prevention and treatment of mental illness.

Orygen targets the needs of young people with emerging serious mental illness, including first-episode psychosis and has become the model upon which many other youth mental health services in the world are based.

Professor McGorry is also a director of the National Youth Mental Health Foundation, Headspace. He believes that early intervention offers the greatest hope for recovery and therefore takes every opportunity to educate the community to recognise the early signs of mental illness, without stigmatising or discriminating.

Professor McGorry was named as Australian of the Year in January 2010 in recognition of "his extraordinary 27-year contribution to the improvement of the youth mental health sector [that] has transformed the lives of tens of thousands of young people the world over."

Professor McGorry was made an Officer of the Order of Australia in June 2010.


What?  Professor McGorry will meet with local dignitaries and other key figures in the mental health field before the lecture.
When?   2.30pm, Monday 19 November 2012
Where?  Meeting Room, Engineering Building, La Trobe University, Edwards Road, Flora Hill

Media enquiries
Zerin Knight, Ph (03) 5444 7375 F +613 5444 7526 M 0428 463 161 E