The Statewide Mental Health Infrastructure Program (SWMHIP) includes the following projects and programs:
Mother and Baby Units
Each year in NSW more than 650 mothers-to-be or new mothers will need psychiatric support for prenatal, postnatal, or other severe or acute disorders.
The NSW Government has announced the establishment of two Mother and Baby Units (MBU) in NSW including:
The purpose of these MBUs is to provide specialist perinatal mental health care, including physical and emotional support, to enable the mum to care for her baby while being provided with treatment for her mental wellbeing in a therapeutic environment.
The two units will provide publicly funded care to mothers and their babies.
New Mother and Baby mental health unit announced for Royal Prince Alfred Hospital
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Child and Adolescents Mental Health Unit
Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) units provide care and treatment for children and adolescents up to 18 years who have significant mental illness, or who are at risk of such illness.
A new Nepean Blue Mountains local health district unit was announced in July 2019. The CAMHS unit will be based at Nepean Hospital and will be delivered as part of the Nepean Hospital Redevelopment.
Why a new CAMHS unit at Nepean Hospital?
population growth projections show an increased need for beds in metropolitan Sydney.
additional metropolitan-based beds will help meet CAMHS statewide needs.
there is a community-based Child and Adolescent Mental Health service but there are no designated inpatient beds in Nepean’s Paediatric Unit.
Planning of the new facility is well under way with and is being co-designed with health professionals, young people and their families.
Older Persons Mental Health
Mental health facilities in Sydney’s South Western region will see a significant increase in capacity under a major multi-level expansion to enhance the care of adults and older people into the future.
The Campbelltown Hospital Redevelopment Stage 2 includes designs for a modern specialised older persons’ unit and civil secure unit for adults. These units will operate alongside the general acute mental health unit.
The designs are the result of extensive planning and consultation involving hospital staff, community and consumer groups and will be the first beds delivered under the NSW Government’s $700 million SWMHIP.
You can see the indicative designs for new the facilities in our flythrough video below.
The new mental health facilities which are currently under construction will be located within the new Clinical Services Building.
Forensic Mental Health
The SWMHIP has also been addressing challenges faced by the NSW forensic mental health system.
Currently there is a limited number of placements and resources available to forensic patients as they progress through the system from high, medium and low secure facilities and then into the community.
The Mental Health Intensive Care Unit (MHICU) at Malabar is a project being delivered in collaboration with Justice Health and Forensic Mental Health Network (JHFMHN).
The MHICU will be a new mental health facility based within the Forensic Hospital at Malabar and will treat forensic patients with an acute mental disorder.
A forensic patient is a person who has been found unfit to be tried for an offence and to be detained in a correctional centre, mental health facility or other place
MHICU patients will typically have a legal order for admission and will be experiencing an acute or deteriorating stage of a severe mental disorder coupled with challenging behaviour that is accompanied with a high risk of violence to themselves, other patients, staff and visitors.
Planning is underway with our partners at JHFMHN and construction is expected to commence in early 2021.
Banksia Mental Health Unit – Tamworth Hospital
A new facility that will replace Tamworth Hospital’s existing Banksia Mental Health Unit was announced in August 2020.
The unit which is a 25-bed general inpatient service:
Image above: Artist impressions - Banksia Mental Health Unit at Tamworth Hospital.
- is expected to provide additional beds for older people; increasing the support provided to the community be approximately 30 per cent more patients each year
- will be rebuilt near the main hospital building, in close proximity to the emergency department, and physically connected to existing hospital services, integrating mental health with other acute services
- be co-designed with people with lived experience of mental health, family, carers and staff.
More information on the Banksia Mental Health Unit can be found here.
B22 - Bungarribee House Replacement Project
The current 30-bed mental health inpatient unit ‘Bungarribee House’ is being relocated to B22 within Blacktown Hospital.
The unit’s move compliments the work done during Blacktown and Mount Druitt Hospital Expansion Project (BMDH Project) Stages 1 and 2, to place an existing mental health service to within the hospital’s main structure.
In its new position, within Building B, patients will have improved access to other hospital-wide services and the space necessary for contemporary models of care.
Image above: Artist impression - Bungarribee House lounge and dining area.
Nolan House, is a 24-bed inpatient mental health unit based at Albury Hospital and is part of Albury Wodonga Health (AWH).
As a unique cross-border service AWH provides health care to both Victorian and NSW residents under the NSW Mental Health Act.
A new 32-bed facility was announced in June 2021 to replace the existing Nolan House under the SWMHIP. The co-designed facility will provide improved mental health care to patients in the Albury-Wodonga community.
More information on the Nolan House project can be found here
Pathways to Community Living Initiative Stage 2
The Pathways to Community Living Initiative (PCLI) Stage 2 is a sub-program of SWMHIP. The PCLI addresses a key recommendation of the 2014 Living Well report for supporting people with severe and persistent mental illness who have had a long stay in hospital transition into a community setting.
When the PCLI started a little over four years ago there were approximately 380 people who had been patients in NSW mental health units for more than a year. Some patients had stays of over 10 years or more.
Under the Mental Health Reform 2014-2024 the NSW Government committed to invest in designed environments, acquisition of the land and the procurement of 24/7 clinical and daily support services to transition long–stay patients to the community.
Together with consumers, families and carers, non-government organisations (NGOs) and Community Housing Providers (CHPs), government agencies and other partners the PCLI aims to:
Transition long-stay patients with severe and persistent mental illness into the community, where possible, including developing new service models for appropriate care.
Create practice change in inpatient and community services to decrease the number and length of long stay admissions.
More information about the PCLI can be found here or watch the video below.
Twenty-two ‘Safe Havens’ providing calm, quiet spaces for people in suicidal crisis will be made available under the SWMHIP.
Currently under construction the Safe Havens are part of NSW Health's Towards Zero Suicides program and will be located within an existing space or site on a hospital campus, or offsite nearby in for example a shopfront or community-based accommodation.
The services are based on the United Kingdom's Safe Haven Café model, which has shown a more than 30 per cent reduction in admissions to mental health inpatient units in their catchment areas.
The locations for the 22 sites will be announced following further planning.
More information on the Toward Zero Suicides can be found here.
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Therapeutic Environments Minor Capital Works Program
SWMHIP’s first initiative was the $20 million Therapeutic Environments Minor Capital Works Program (TEMCWP).
Through the TEMCWP local health districts and specialty health networks across NSW have made important improvements to their mental health units.
The TEWCMP was completed in July 2020 and included numerous projects including those detailed below:
Murrumbidgee Local Health District – Wagga Wagga Base Hospital
This refurbishment project was co-designed with local consumers and carers taking an active role in the improvements, which included:
an increased living area with an additional sunroom
increased space in the unit’s art/gym room
a basketball/handball court in the courtyard.
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Sydney Local Health District – Concord Hospital
The project created modern, engaging dining and living areas including new furnishings, wall art and new flooring and joinery.
Northern NSW Local Health District – Lismore Base Hospital
The project included upgrading the Tallowwood and Kamala inpatient units with a modern, bright therapeutic unit, IT-enabled spaces and additional kitchenettes in common area.
Sydney Children’s Hospital Network – Children’s Hospital at Westmead
The Hall Ward Acute Child and Adolescent Mental Health Ward has been refreshed with a rejuvenated outdoor area, vibrant internal areas and enhancements to bedrooms and areas for patients, carers, families and staff.
Western NSW Local Health District – Orange Hospital
The project created a new sensory garden with an internal and external courtyard.
Central Coast Local Health District – Wyong Mental Health Unit
The upgrade of the Wyong Mental Health Unit included new furnishings, fittings and exercise equipment. Waiting rooms, commons rooms and transition areas were also updated.
Pictured above from left: Lismore Base Hospital courtyard; artwork at Hall Ward Acute Child and Adolescent Mental Health Ward – Children’s Hospital at Westmead; and Wyong Mental Health Unit.
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For enquiries and more information about SWMHIP, please contact us at HI-SWMHIP@health.nsw.gov.au