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Mental health beds expansion program – McKellar Centre
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Mental health beds expansion program – McKellar Centre

Location 45-95 Ballarat Road, North Geelong, Victoria, 3215, Australia

The Victorian Government’s investment into the Mental health beds expansion program will deliver 16 acute mental health beds at the McKellar Centre, Geelong.

The delivery of the project will increase capacity, reduce pressure on emergency departments and provide additional support for people experiencing mental illness who require immediate treatment.

Once complete, the new 16-bed mental health facility at the McKellar Centre will provide more than 5,800 days of care, enabling an estimated 355 more Geelong locals to access vital mental health services every year.

The Victorian Government is investing $492 million towards the delivery of 144 new acute public mental health beds across Victoria.

The new beds are a response to a key recommendation of the Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System and will address critical demand pressures.

At the McKellar Centre, the Mental health beds expansion program will deliver:

  • an acute mental health facility with 16 single person bedrooms with ensuites
  • a sensory room
  • de-escalation rooms
  • internal courtyards and enclosed garden areas
  • multi-functional rooms
  • spiritual rooms
  • staff and family lounges
  • treatment rooms.

The Mental health beds expansion program aims to achieve the following benefits:

More acute mental health beds

Increased capacity to provide timely and improved access for people experiencing mental illness who require immediate treatment, in a contemporary, safe, and high-quality setting.

Contemporary mental healthcare

The facility will provide a welcoming and responsive environment designed to support both consumers and staff.

Each room will feature contemporary design as well as innovative safety features. The building will feature several internal courtyards as well as enclosed garden areas that integrate with the leafy surrounds to provide a secure area to enjoy greenery and fresh air.

The new facility will feature modern physical spaces which support recovery. It will look and feel less hospital-like and people using the facility will have access to a range of shared internal spaces for social, therapeutic, and recreational activities.

Experience-led design process

People with a variety of views and perspectives have been engaged throughout the design process to inform the facility and service designs. This has included people with lived experience of mental illness, such as consumers, families and carers, as well as medical, nursing, allied health professionals, and other staff.

Jobs for Victorians

The McKellar Centre project is expected to create and sustain around 230 construction industry jobs.

Implementing recommendations from the Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System

The additional acute mental health capacity is being urgently delivered in response to the critical need identified in the interim report from the Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System.

Why do we need more acute mental health beds?

The Victorian Government is responding to a recommendation from the Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System Interim Report through the urgent delivery of more acute mental health facilities and services.

These services will address critical demand issues by increasing capacity, reducing pressure on emergency departments, and providing additional support for people experiencing mental illness who require immediate treatment. More acute mental health beds and services will mean more access for people experiencing severe mental illness, taking the pressure off other public health services.

Where will the new mental health facility be located?  

The new 16-bed acute mental health facility will be located at the McKellar Centre, 45-95 Ballarat Rd, North Geelong. It will be located on the ‘green wedge’ area of the McKellar Centre campus, north of Blakiston Lodge.

What level of care will be provided?

Increased hospital-based care will be provided for people experiencing mental illness who require immediate treatment in a contemporary, safe, and high-quality hospital setting.

Who will be supported by these new services?

Severe mental illness affects a range of people from different family, cultural, economic, and social backgrounds. The new facilities and services will provide people with better access to mental health services and support and reduce pressure on emergency departments.

The new facility at the McKellar Centre will provide treatment for consumers aged 50 years and over who experience acute mental ill health and other health comorbidities that require a tailored service response to enhance their recovery journey.

What is going to be different about the new hospital-based facilities?

The new facilities are designed with input from people with lived experience of mental illness such as consumers, families and carers, as well as medical, nursing, allied health professionals, and other staff. The facilities will look and feel less like a hospital and provide access to shared internal and outdoor spaces for social, therapeutic, and recreational activities to support consumers’ changing needs throughout their stay.

When will construction begin and end on the new mental health facility at the McKellar Centre?

To meet the critical need and the timelines set by the Royal Commission, innovative new construction methods are being explored that will significantly reduce the traditional building time and provide flexibility for current and future health care.

Construction of the new facility at the McKellar Centre will begin this year (2021) and is expected to be completed in mid-2022.

What health service will manage the mental health facility at the McKellar Centre?

The mental health facility at the McKellar Centre will be managed by Barwon Health. Barwon Health is a major provider of acute, maternity, sub-acute, and specialist services in Geelong and south west Victoria. More information on Barwon Health can be found on their website.

Mental health beds expansion program – McKellar Centre
  • Location
  • 45-95 Ballarat Road
    North Geelong, Victoria, 3215, Australia

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Last updated: 23 July 2021