A game-changing moment in the provision of Wide Bay mental health services occurred today with the opening of the Step Up Step Down (SUSD) facility in Bundaberg.
The $5.3 million, 10-unit SUSD unit provides short-term recovery services in a community setting, and is a supportive step between community-based care and inpatient admission.
Minister for Health and Ambulance Services Steven Miles MP said the new Bundaberg SUSD unit would fill a crucial gap in mental health services for the Wide Bay community.
“The Step Up Step Down facility is one of five of its kind for adults in Queensland,” Mr Miles said.
“The new unit provides a local short-term rehabilitation centre focused on recovery for people suffering with mental health concerns, who don’t require acute care, but might not be able to manage at home.
“It’s a proud day to see this wonderful facility be officially opened and start making a difference to the lives of local consumers.”
Wide Bay Hospital and Health Service’s Mental Health team is partnering with Mind Australia to run the facility, with Mind Australia providing day-to-day and support services such as recovery and life skills programs, while the WBHHS Mental Health team will provide clinical services.
Wide Bay Hospital and Health Board Chair Peta Jamieson said mental health service provision was a key part of the Board and health service’s new strategic plan, Care Comes First… Through Patients’ Eyes.
“The Step Up Step Down facility is a really important component of our mental health services, because we know our region consistently has higher rates of depression, psychological distress and suicide,” Ms Jamieson said.
“I’d also like to emphasise that while the centre is in Bundaberg, it is a facility for all of Wide Bay – and in fact, our first consumer was from the Fraser Coast.
“There can never be a one-size-fits-all approach to mental health care and recovery, and this centre helps us to individualise the right care, at the right time, in the right place for consumers who need sub-acute support.
“We’re really pleased to be partnering with Mind Australia as we jointly work to deliver the best possible care and support for our community.”
Mind Australia is one of the country’s leading community-managed specialist mental health service providers and has been supporting people dealing with the day-to-day impacts of mental illness, as well as their families, friends and carers for more than 40 years
Mind Australia Executive Director OperationsBronwyn Lawman said their team was excited to be offering their support to residents at the Bundaberg SUSD as they strengthen their relationships and consolidate the skills they need for living safely and successfully in the community.
“Mind’s people-centred, recovery-focused services are about giving people the support they need – when they need it – to be able to live lives of their own design, with hope, dignity and purpose and as independently as possible,” Mrs Lawman said.
“Many times we have seen the value of these support services for people at particularly vulnerable moments in their lives, and I am looking forward to hearing the stories of recovery, renewed optimism and sense of purpose that I know will come from this Step Up Step Down residence, as surely as they do from others around Australia.”
The construction of three SUSD facilities in Mackay, Bundaberg and Gladstone was announced in June 2016 as part of the $180 million Significant Regional Infrastructure Projects Program.
The establishment of SUSD units is a priority action to provide access to appropriate services as close to home as possible and at the optimal time as identified under the Queensland Government’s plan for state funded mental health, alcohol and drug services – Connecting care to recovery 2016-2021.