Mental health facility to help fill a 'missing gap'
IT IS hoped a new $12million mental health unit in New Auckland will help fill the "missing gap" and provide much-needed support services to residents of the region.
The 10-bed centre is located in a quiet and welcoming area of the community and has home-like amenities with 24-hour support.
The unit, to be run in a partnership between CQ Health and mental health service provider Mind Australia, will provide additional mental health services to Gladstone and the wider Central Queensland region.
"This facility will provide short-term sub-acute residential services in the community with a real focus on recovery," CQ Health chief executive Steve Williamson said.
"It will help people who are becoming unwell, and also those in the early stages of recovery who need support after a mental health unit admission."
CQ Health board chairman Paul Bell said the announcement was extremely important for Gladstone.
"It meets the missing gap. When people with mental illness leave a hospital they quite often have medication and other preparation given to them, but then it's about transition and coming back into the community," Mr Bell said.
"This brings some of the latest thinking and some of the best practitioners into Gladstone.
"This is something that's been missing for a long time."
Mind Australia chief executive officer Robyn Hunter expects a high demand for beds at the unit in Luscombe Crt.
"There's very much an unmet demand and the local community has been very vocal and involved in having theses type of services in Gladstone... I'm sure by the end of the week we'll have 10 beds full," Ms Hunter said.
Ms Hunter said patients must have a clinical referral to be considered for admission.
"This will assist people who are experiencing mental ill-health to avoid going to an acute hospital centre elsewhere, or coming from that acute setting to have the support they need to return to their community and connect with their families, friends and everyday life," she said.
"This type of support is extremely successful and Mind is a leading provider of Step Up Step Down services across Australia."
Mind Australia will soon open a unit in Bundaberg which will take it to 16 centres.
Member for Gladstone Glenn Butcher said the region had been "screaming out" for a mental health facility of this nature for many years.
"This will help people who are either stepping up and looking for help in mental health, or stepping down from the help they received in acute care centres in Rockhampton or Brisbane.
"This allows people to stay here in the Gladstone region and get the care that they need.
"It also stops people from going into our hospital system who need mental health care in Gladstone."
If you or anyone you know needs help, phone Lifeline on 131114.