Funding boost to forensic mental health services in NSW


The NSW Government is making vital investments in mental health with an additional 109 forensic mental health beds to be delivered in NSW to ensure more people with severe mental illness can get treatment.

Expanding the existing NSW network of forensic and mental health units is a crucial step to improving the system as part of a $700 million investment in mental health services.

Forensic mental health units are a key part of both the mental health and justice system, which ensures people receive comprehensive mental health care when engaged in the criminal justice system as a result of their ill health.

There’s currently a total of 209 beds in forensic mental health units across NSW so the government is delivering a 50% increase to ensure NSW facilities have the capacity to meet people’s needs and help them get on the road to recovery.

This investment from the NSW Government is an important first step, which includes:

  • A new mental health intensive care unit (MHICU) located within the Forensic Hospital at Malabar (Freshwater Unit).
  • Additional low secure and medium secure forensic beds located within the mental health precinct at Concord Hospital.
  • Relocation of the Cumberland Bunya Medium Secure Forensic unit to Blacktown Hospital and the addition of new low secure forensic beds.
  • Relocation of the Morisset Kestrel Medium Secure Forensic unit to the New Maitland Hospital and the addition of new low secure forensic beds. This includes the relocation of the adult acute and older persons services previously provided at Morisset to the New Maitland Hospital.
  • The new beds will be delivered in Concord, Freshwater, Blacktown and Maitland over the next 4 years.

Minister for Mental Health Rose Jackson said:

“The care provided in our forensic mental health units is vital in reducing the risk of repeat offending resulting from untreated mental illness and improves the safety of NSW communities.

“This investment will help to address statewide gaps in in-patient forensic services so that people get the right care, at the right time, in the least restrictive environment.

“We’re increasing the number of beds available in low, medium and high security facilities to ensure we can meet patients where they’re at and support their pathway to recovery.

“Our goal is to put people back on their feet and in the right head space so they can recover and transition back into the community to live meaningful, purposeful lives.”

/Public Release. View in full here.