Scot MacDonald
22nd Oct 2018

People receiving care at mental health inpatient units in the Hunter will soon see physical improvements, as statewide upgrades and refurbishments get underway.

Parliamentary Secretary for the Hunter Scot MacDonald MLC said mental health units in the Hunter region will benefit from more than $1.6 million in funding as part of a NSW Liberal National Government investment to upgrade mental health infrastructure in NSW.

“Well-designed spaces in acute mental health units help dignify our mental health consumers by meeting their needs for recovery, security, and connection,” Mr MacDonald said.

“Calvary Mater Hospital PICU will receive $420,000 for repainting, installing new doorways, to purchase furniture and exercise and sensory modulation equipment such as weighted blankets, squeeze balls, weight toys and mindfulness colouring.”

“Maitland Hospital Block C will receive $478,000 to refurbish the ward and install dimmable LED lighting, to carry out works in the Closed Unit and High Dependency Bed Area to upgrade the courtyard and purchase new exercise and sensory modulation equipment.”

“John Hunter Hospital CAMHS Nexus Unit will receive $715,000 to refresh indoor living areas, replace outdoor courtyard flooring, landscape gardens, purchase furniture and sensory modulation equipment.”

The funding will create therapeutic environments to support person centred care that responds to past trauma, focusing on individual recovery. Projects were funded after a partnership of Local Health Districts (LHDs) working with consumers and carers.

Minister for Mental Health Tanya Davies said LHDs and specialty networks have received a share of $20 million to make important improvements, the first initiative of the NSW Government’s $700 million Mental Health Infrastructure program.                                                                           

“This is part of the NSW Government’s long term plan to help our mental health facilities refresh their physical environment so they support modern care models,” Mrs Davies said.

“The $20 million investment is focused on delivering immediate benefits to help reduce, and where possible eliminate, the use of seclusion and restraint in NSW acute mental health facilities.”

This funding is in addition to this year’s record $2.1 billion State Budget for mental health services. Planning continues for the remainder of the $700 million statewide Mental Health Infrastructure Program, with a focus on enhancing specialist services.

If you or someone you know needs crisis support please call Lifeline 13 11 14. For local mental health services phone NSW Mental Health Line 1800 011 511.