Community update on new mental health facility
May 03, 2016
The final touches are being made to plans for a new facility that allows mental health patients access to more effective support and treatment in Mildura.
Construction is due to begin on Mildura’s Prevention and Recovery Centre (PARC) in July once a successful tenderer has been selected.
A meeting to update community members on the plans will be held next week.
PARCs are short to medium-term residential facilities offering a community-based integrated service for voluntary patients. They focus on recovery and independent living and already operate successfully in Melbourne, Bendigo, Geelong and Shepparton.
The Victorian Budget contained $4.4million for a PARC due to open in 2017 and to be run by Mildura Base Hospital and the Victorian Community Mental Health Support Services.
Mildura Base Hospital’s Associate Director of Mental Health Services Chris Hermans said he was pleased at the positive community response to the plans.
“It’s a 10-bed unit and the site we have chosen is on vacant land in Boyden Street,” Mr Hermans said.
“The local neighbourhood has been very positive, supportive and encouraging of the plans since we announced them last year, and this meeting will provide them with more detail about things like the design and landscaping,” he said.
“It’s a good chance for community members to get a clear idea of what the plans will look like in detail before the project goes to tender at the end of May.”
The PARC facility is due to be operational by June next year and Mr Hermans said it would provide 24-hours a day supervised care.
“Five beds will be for short-stay patients for up to 28 days, and five mid-term stay beds would be for patients requiring up to six months of clinical support, stabilisation and recovery,” he said.
“It’s a facility for people whose main challenge is with mental health issues, rather than drug or alcohol-related issues.
“Having the PARC in Mildura allows people to start their recovery journey while they can still access their existing supports and networks and continue to be involved in community life.
“That’s obviously better for the client and their family, but achieving outcomes that are about recovery, prevention and reintegration is obviously where we want to be from a community perspective, as well.”
Currently most people requiring mental health services in Mildura are treated within the community. MBH Ward 5 provides in-patient services for acute mental health issues and the new PARC service will provide “step up-step down” services for Mildura patients for the first time.
“PARC services are a really effective option for mental health patients who would access services from within the community, but who would benefit from the more intensive support that can come with short to medium-term residential support,” Mr Hermans said.
“The PARC will be a safe and supportive setting for people who are finding it difficult to cope at home. It will provide an opportunity for early intervention and clinical treatment with a focus on recovery,” he said.
“PARC addresses a community demand for improvement to mental health services and we’re pleased that people are welcoming it as a positive investment in service delivery and better outcomes for our clients and our community.”
The Community Information Session will be at the Alfred Deakin Centre on Thursday May 12 at 7.30 pm.