Investing in mental health services for Territorians

NT Government

The Territory Labor Government is investing an additional $8 million to expand the building which will house Royal Darwin Hospital’s new mental health inpatient unit (MHIPU) and Stabilisation and Referral Area (SARA).

The first two-floors will contain 18-inpatient beds, support services and a 6-bed SARA connected to the Emergency Department via an elevated, enclosed walkway across Nightingale Road.

The $8 million investment will see an additional third floor constructed to help future-proof the facility and meet the growing needs of Territorians.

This brings the total investment by the Territory Government and Commonwealth to $45.5 million.

Design work for the facility has advanced, with public exhibition of the development application which commenced on Friday, until 22 April 2022. Local business Ashford Group Pty Limited is undertaking the design, after being awarded the $1.8 million design tender last year.

Construction is expected to commence in September, and be completed by mid-2024. A Managing Contract tender for Construction of the MHIPU and SARA is planned to be released by the end of May.

In addition, upgrades are underway on the Joan Ridley Unit, including internal reconfiguration to create a new women only unit, which is on track for completion by the end of April 2022.

Enhancements to the Cowdy Ward High Dependency Unit courtyard were recently completed, with further enhancements in development for the main courtyard, due for completion in early June 2022.

These buildings are a key step in improving the acute mental health capacity in the Top End.

Quotes from Minister for Health Natasha Fyles:

“Territorians deserve access to the best possible mental health services and our Government has taken decisive action to deliver.

“This mental health inpatient unit will increase capacity for mental health services at Royal Darwin Hospital and will complement the work we have already done to deliver more sub-acute beds and prevention services.

“No other Government has done more for mental health and this is an absolute priority for Labor.”

/Public Release. View in full here.