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Programs and Projects (SWMHIP)

The Statewide Mental Health Infrastructure Program (SWMHIP) includes the following projects and programs:

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.

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:

  • Sydney Local Health District – Royal Prince Alfred Hospital

  • Western Sydney Local Health District – Westmead Hospital.

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.

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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, projects included:

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.

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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.

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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.

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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 medium 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.

The new mental health facilities will be located within the new Clinical Services Building.

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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.

The new facility is being co-designed with health professionals, young people and their families.

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.

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For enquiries and more information about SWMHIP, please contact us at

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