Residents in Greater Geelong will soon have access to better local mental health support with a construction blitz now underway on two major projects thanks to the state government.
Work on a new world-class 16-bed acute mental health facility at Barwon Health’s McKellar Centre will create and sustain more than 230 local construction jobs when Victorians need them most. It will also deliver on a key recommendation made by the Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System.
The facility’s frame will be constructed as individual modules off-site, then transported and completed on-site – reducing disruption to the operational hospital and local residents while construction is underway.
Designed in consultation with people with lived experience of the mental health system, the facility will deliver more than 5800 days of care – which equates to approximately 355 people each year.
The facility will reduce pressure on University Hospital Geelong’s emergency department, delivering inpatient acute mental health services and community-based care in a contemporary, safe and high-quality hospital setting.
Geelong-based Lyons Construction has also begun work on the $16 million Mental Health and Drug and Alcohol Services Community Hub in Moorabool Street, in central Geelong, with construction on track to be completed in late 2022.
Operated by Barwon Health, the five-storey hub will provide better access to treatment and support services for people experiencing mental ill-health and addiction – further supporting them on their recovery journey.
The hub will consolidate existing services onto one contemporary, fit-for-purpose site. Clinicians will provide telephone, online, walk-in, at-home and outreach services over extended operating hours – and the facility will also include space for clinicians and researchers to collaborate to improve mental health outcomes across the region.
The state government invested $3.8 billion in the Victorian Budget 2021-22 to transform Victoria’s mental health system, in the single largest investment in mental health by any state government.
Source: A state government media statement