Beneficiary Profile: Orygen

Beneficiary Profile: Orygen

One in five young people will have experienced a depressive episode by the time they are 18. That’s why, we at Orygen believe in treating early and focusing on recovery.

Established in 2002, Orygen is widely regarded as one of the world’s leading research organisations focusing on mental ill-health in young people, led by former Australian of the Year, Professor Patrick McGorry AO. Orygen’s vision and advocacy led to the national success of headspace.

Orygen's research is world-leading, impactful and creates real change. Working directly with young people, their families and friends, they pioneer new, positive approaches to the prevention and treatment of mental disorders. Orgyen make sure that policy makers understand the need and cost of mental ill-health.

Professor McGorry says "the team at Cooper Investors have been an incredible advocate for Orygen and importantly, youth mental health. The funding we receive from Hearts & Minds Investments Limited give us the critical flexibility of being able to support innovative projects, that may otherwise not receive funding.

With thanks to Cooper Investors and Hearts & Minds Investments Limited, we have been able to put youth mental health on the global agenda and progress our work in developing a global mental health framework, through a partnership with the World Economic Forum".

The collaboration is part of the Forum’s Platform on Shaping the Future of Health and Healthcare. This has enabled Orygen to maximise the engagement of the Forum’s strategic partners and elevate the profile of their world leading youth mental health organisation among key private and public stakeholders globally, with the work promoted at events during the United Nations General Assembly 2019 and Davos 2020.

Professor McGorry said “youth mental health is a global issue that brings with it a massive emotional, physical and economic toll that affects young people, their families and communities all over the world.”

The Orygen/World Economic Forum youth mental health project has involved widespread consultation with clinical academics, service providers, policy makers and young people from over 20 different countries in different resource and cultural settings. The project has produced:

  • A Global Framework for Youth Mental Health Care to support communities, regions and countries around the world to develop and deliver effective youth mental health services and supports.
  • An investment framework to support funders access the economic evidence for early intervention and prevention.
  • An advocacy toolkit to support young people, families and their local communities to make youth mental health a priority for leaders, funders and policy makers.

The Framework was launched by the Premier of Victoria on 27 May 2020. The virtual event included a panel discussion involving young people from Australia, Philippines, Canada, South Africa and Brazil. It attracted over 1000 registered participants from 92 countries. The next stages of the project will include working with a number of communities around the world to support implementation of the Youth Mental Health Framework in their own countries.

“Ultimately, we want to see all young people the world over being able to access the mental health care in their local communities that they need to ensure they lead long and fulfilling lives,” Professor McGorry said.

As part of our impact video series, we spoke with Professor McGorry, discussing the importance of medical research, his recent breakthroughs and the vital need for private funding. You can watch the video below:

You can learn more about Orygen at their website here.