The Andrews Labor Government is transforming the mental health system in Melbourne’s west with a new 52-bed acute mental health facility – one of four new facilties being built across the state to support more people when they need it most.

Acting Premier and Minister for Mental Health James Merlino today released designs and announced the builder of the state-of-the-art facility being built at Sunshine Hospital.

The designs reveal the facility’s exteriors, grounds and internal fit-outs, which have been carefully considered to create a safe, welcoming, and healing atmosphere for consumers on their treatment and recovery journey.

The designs have been developed in consultation with carers, clinicians, staff, and consumers with lived experience of the mental health system.

Western Health’s Sunshine Hospital will receive 52 beds as part of an investment by the Labor Governemt to deliver 120 new mental health beds with further beds at Northern Health’s Epping campus (30 beds), the Royal Melbourne Hospital (22 beds) and Barwon Health’s McKellar Centre (16 beds).

The $492 million investment will be delivered by the Victorian Health Building Authority. It is a response to a key recommendation of the Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System.

Lendlease Building has been appointed head contractor to build the project following a competitive tender process.

Construction will involve a combination of modular solutions and traditional construction and refurbishment, with works set to begin in mid-2021. All four facilities are expected to be operational by 2023.

Once operational, the beds will deliver 43,000 extra days of hospital-based care – meaning an estimated 2,500 more people will be able to get the help they need, when they need it most.

The new facilities will reduce pressure on emergency departments and deliver acute mental health services, including inpatient and community-based care to Victorians experiencing acute mental health issues from contemporary, safe, and high-quality hospital settings.

The Labor Government invested $868.6 million in the 2020/21 Victorian Budget to ensure Victorians have the mental health supports they need, closer to home. It’s the single largest investment in mental health by any state government and will ensure that Victoria’s mental health system is one that Victorians deserve.

Quotes attributable to the Acting Premier and Minister for Mental Health James Merlino

“We’re implementing every recommendation of the Royal Commission – to fix our broken mental health system and save lives.”

Quote attributable to Member for St Albans Natalie Suleyman

“These new beds will mean more people from Melbourne’s west can get the care they need, when they need it most – and take pressure off our emergency departments.”

Quote attributable to Member for Footscray Katie Hall

“It’s fantastic to see the western suburbs front and centre in our efforts to fix the mental health system.”

Quote attributable to Member for Sydneham Natalie Hutchins

“This facility has been designed with carers, clinicians, staff and consumers ensuring that it gives people the help they need.”

Quote attributable to Member for Niddrie Ben Carroll

“This new facility will give people across Melbourne’s west access to the best mental health care.”