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Designs unveiled for Nexus Child and Adolescent Mental Health Unit

Friday 5 November 2021

Designs for the new Nexus Child and Adolescent Mental Health Unit to be built at John Hunter Hospital have been unveiled, showing a modern, therapeutic environment for young people with lived experience in adolescent mental health. 

The 12-bed redevelopment has been co-designed with young people with lived experience in adolescent mental health, their families, clinicians and staff, and includes a dedicated courtyard, carer accommodation, family zones, recreation areas and rooms that maximise access to natural light. 

The proposed layout also provides an environment that balances the needs for privacy, activity and creativity. 

Former patient and co-design consumer Kiara Want says the spaces look much more welcoming and safe for young people going through a difficult time in their lives. 

“I think advocating for the next generation of young people who are really vulnerable is very important, and I’m very proud of myself and all of the other consumers who were involved in this process,” she said.  

The Nexus Unit will accommodate young people up to 18 years of age, as well as providing support to their families and carers. It will also provide telehealth mental health services to rural and remote areas. 

The new unit is one of nine acute Child and Adolescent and Mental Health Services being delivered across the state under the $700 million Statewide Mental Health Infrastructure Program (SWMHIP) and will primarily support young people from the Hunter and New England regions. 

The Nexus Unit will be located in the existing John Hunter Hospital and was identified as part of the Master Plan for the $835 million John Hunter Health and Innovation Precinct. 

Construction on the Nexus Unit is expected to start in 2025 following commissioning of the new Acute Services Building, which is being delivered as part of the precinct redevelopment. 

SWMHIP is NSW’s biggest ever mental health infrastructure reform program, delivering more and better co-designed facilities for people with mental health needs, their families, carers and staff. The $700 million program is designed to support the delivery of this mental health infrastructure reform program in NSW.  

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Image above: From left: Brendan Flynn, Exec Director Mental Health Hunter New England LHD; Kiara Want, Co-Design Consumer Representative and Bec Mosely, Nurse Unit Manager Nexus Hunter New England LHD 

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