Hon Helen Morton MLC

Hon Helen Morton MLC

Former Minister for Mental Health; Disability Services; Child Protection

    Rockingham subacute service work under way

    17/06/2015 10:25 AM
    • Local subacute facility to provide mental health care next year
    • 60 step-up, step-down beds planned across Western Australia by 2017

    Construction work is on track to deliver a new 10-bed step-up, step-down subacute mental health facility to people living in the Rockingham area in 2016.


    Visiting the Shoalwater site today, Mental Health Minister Helen Morton said the subacute service would give up to 230 local people each year access to contemporary therapeutic mental health care in a home-like setting while being closer to family and friends for support.


    "The State Government has prioritised the expansion of community-based mental health services, with plans to have 60 step-up, step-down beds available across Western Australia by 2017," Mrs Morton said.


    "The Rockingham subacute service adds to six-bed services planned for Broome and the Goldfields by 2017 and the Government's $28 million investment to develop a 10-bed residential subacute service in Bunbury and a six-bed service in Karratha.


    "We are pleased to be delivering this facility and our other subacute projects across the State in close partnership with the Department of Housing, which has responsibility for land purchase and building design and construction, with key input from the Mental Health Commission."


    The Minister said the State's first 22-bed subacute service in Joondalup which opened in May 2013 had steadily increased occupancy to 81 per cent, providing more than 428 admissions, as alternatives to hospitalisation.


    "This reflects the community need and preference for these types of innovative mental health services that offer flexible, recovery-focused care, closer to home," she said.


    "This model of care helps build better community understanding and by offering an effective alternative to going to hospital, removes much of the trauma, stigma and cost that can result from acute episodes of mental illness."


    Subacute facilities provide care for people recovering from mental illness in supported accommodation in the community, when an alternative to hospital admission is appropriate.


    Step-up services provide short-term residential care and treatment to help people manage a change in their mental health and step-down care helps people transition back to living in the community after discharge from acute care in hospital.


    Fact File

    • In WA in 2013-14 a mental health bed in a hospital cost $1,234 on average each day and $453 in a community subacute centre
    • The Rockingham subacute facility is costing $5.4m to build and will receive $1.7m operational funding per annum

    Minister's office - 6552 6900