New residential mental health care facility opens

Source: The Standard.  See original article here.

THE name of Warrnambool’s new residential mental health care facility pays homage to the region’s indigenous heritage.

Member for Western Victoria and state government minister Gayle Tierney officially opened the Moore Street facility, which has been named Ngootyoong, on Saturday.

Ngootyoong is a local Aboriginal word meaning new, fresh, healthy, good and strong.

The ceremony included a welcome to country ceremony by Peek Wurrung elder Uncle Locky Eccles.

Ms Tierney said the new Prevention and Recovery Centre (PARC) facility was symbolic of how Warrnambool has come of age.

“This is a facility for the most vulnerable in our community,” Ms Tierney said.

“This new mental health support service will boost and improve treatments and ease pressure on other local health services. It’s a new community-based model to support people in Warrnambool with a mental illness on their journey of recovery. PARC units deliver a unique, home-like setting where people with a mental illness can get the support they need to get their lives back on track.”

Ms Tierney said the new facility is one of two that have opened in regional Victoria this year, the other being in Mildura. The total cost of building the two facilities was $8.6 million with Ngootyoong costing $4.8million. The facility has 10 beds with the average stay expected to be 14 to 21 days.

Ngootyoong will be staffed by 12 new full-time equivalent positions and will be ran on behalf of South West Healthcare (SHW) by Mind Australia.

SWH CEO Craig Fraser said it was fantastic to see the hard work of many come to fruition. He praised the state government for its funding of the program and its ongoing support of SWH.

Mental health services director at SWH Karyn Cook said the facility will provide mental health care in the least restrictive environment.

The facility will be open for the public to view on Wednesday, February 28 from 3-6pm.