A world-class hub for mental health research, teaching and clinical services is set to expand, following council’s unanimous decision to approve USC’s planned expansion of its Sunshine Coast Mind and Neuroscience – Thompson Institute at Birtinya.
Since opening in 2016, the Thompson Institute has built a reputation for using a unique, integrated model, which has put it at the forefront of research for some of Australia’s most pressing mental health issues, including dementia, suicide prevention, post-traumatic stress disorder and youth mental health.
The approved expansion plans include a new building with a podium level car park and additional two storeys of research and clinical space, with elevated walkways at each level connecting to the existing facility building.
Sunshine Coast Mayor Mark Jamieson welcomed the plans to expand the Thompson Institute.
“Facilities like USC’s Thompson Institute play a vital role in providing evidence-based solutions for members of our community experiencing some of the health and medical issues associated with or contributing to, social isolation,” Mayor Jamieson said.
“The approval today reinforces the region’s credentials in health and medical research as well as being a clear reflection of council’s vision for the Sunshine Coast to be Australia’s most sustainable region – healthy, smart, creative.
“There is no doubt that the world’s population is changing and the expansion demonstrates the ongoing need for this style of care.
“It’s important to consider that as the Sunshine Coast continues to grow, that our region will have the capacity to meet the demand for quality health care services for our community.”
USC Vice-Chancellor Professor Greg Hill welcomed council’s approval of the planned expansion of the Thompson Institute.
“The Thompson Institute, which opened in 2016 thanks to a major donation to USC by Roy and Nola Thompson, provides integrated mental health and neurological research, teaching and clinical services for the Sunshine Coast region and beyond,” he said.
“It is now at the forefront of research for some of regional Australia’s most pressing mental health issues.
“In the recent Excellence in Research for Australia evaluations, our research at the Thompson Institute received the ultimate ranking of 5 (well above world standard), which is on par with traditional premier research universities.
“We’re pleased the Sunshine Coast Council has recognised the important work that is being done at the Thompson Institute by approving USC’s application to almost double the size of this facility.”