The McGowan Labor Government will invest $15.6 million, as part of the 2019-20 State Budget, to open a second secure mental health unit at Fremantle Hospital.
The additional 20-bed unit will make Fremantle Hospital a specialist hub for mental health services in Perth’s southern suburbs. It builds on the McGowan Government’s commitment to invest in mental health services in hospitals and within the community.
This is a positive step for people living with a mental illness as it provides greater access to expert care and treatment.
Aligned with the McGowan Government’s focus to help relieve pressure on busy emergency departments in the area, this mental health unit at Fremantle Hospital is in addition to the Mental Health Emergency Centres being established at Royal Perth Hospital and St John of God Midland Public Hospital.
Existing Fremantle Hospital buildings will be refurbished and redeveloped to cater for this new 20-bed secure mental health unit and courtyard. Preliminary work on developing the site will commence shortly, with the unit expected to open in 2022.
Fremantle Hospital currently has 48 acute adult inpatient mental health beds and 16 inpatient beds for older adults with a mental health illness.
The McGowan Government will also commit $3 million to fund comprehensive planning to decommission Graylands Hospital and reconfigure mental health services to reflect a contemporary and more appropriate model of care.
The establishment of Recovery Colleges in Western Australia, a McGowan Government election commitment, is being progressed with funding of $3.6 million.
Recovery Colleges use an educational approach to support individuals’ recovery from mental health, alcohol and drug issues, and have shown positive results in the United Kingdom. The proposed model will operate using a hub and satellite design, with a central hub in Perth and satellites located across regional Western Australia.
As stated by Health and Mental Health Minister Roger Cook:
“Improving outcomes for people with mental illness is a priority for the McGowan Government. This new 20-bed unit at Fremantle Hospital will ensure access to safe, high-quality mental health inpatient care and relieve pressure on busy emergency departments in the area.
“The Sustainable Health Review calls for improved mental health outcomes in Western Australia. Today’s announcements will play a crucial role in beginning to fulfil the mental health recommendations of the SHR.
“Funding to establish Recovery Colleges in WA fulfils an election commitment to provide this model of treatment. Recovery Colleges in the UK have shown positive results with high levels of students progressing to further study, employment and volunteering.”