Victoria announces Specialist Women’s Mental Health Service

Victoria announces Australian-first Specialist Women’s Mental Health Service

Victoria

The Victorian government has announced a $100 million investment into an Australian-first Specialist Women’s Mental Health Service.

In partnership with Alfred Health, Ramsay Health Care and Goulburn Valley Health, 35 acute mental health beds will be provided in Melbourne and Shepparton specifically to support women with a range of complex conditions. 

The service will provide care for women who have experienced trauma and sexual abuse, those presenting with eating disorders, experiencing perinatal mental health concerns and those who identify as LGBTIQ+. 

The announcement comes as Dan Andrews’ Labor Government commits to delivering a key recommendation of the Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System to provide better mental health treatment for Victorian women. 

The Royal Commission, released in February this year, offered up 65 recommendations for changes to be made within the state’s mental health system, including the beds to be created for public patients in a private setting to ease the pressure on the public system. 

The beds will be established at Ramsay Health Care’s facilities —  thirty beds at Albert Road Clinic in Melbourne and five beds at Shepparton Private Hospital.

Acting Premier and Minister for Mental Health James Merlino said that people should feel safe when they seek mental health care.

“We’re making sure it happens with this Australian-first facility, delivering specialist care for women who need acute support,” he said in a statement. 

“Many Victorian women told us through the Royal Commission their experiences within the system haven’t supported their recovery effectively – and we’ve worked with many of those women to design services that will meet their needs.“ 

The Specialist Women’s Mental Health Service will also provide consultation to local mental health services, helping them deliver trauma-informed care for Victorian women who are experiencing acute mental health conditions. 

The proposed model of care has been a collaborative project in consultation with women with lived experience from various sectors of the mental health system. 

Labor Government has also announced plans to deliver an extra 144 new general acute mental health beds to hospitals across the state, investing a further $492 million into the system

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