Site announced for new $70 million Cairns Mental Health building

20 June 2019

A new $70 million multi-storey mental health unit will be built at Cairns Hospital to provide better care for patients.

Today, Health Minister Steven Miles confirmed the new facility would be located on the Cairns Hospital campus.

“Mental health issues affect one in five people in our community, which means we all know somebody who is dealing with a mental health issue,” Minister Miles said.

“The new mental health facility will have more capacity to treat more patients and will provide a better environment for to help the recovery of mental health patients.”

Member for Cairns Michael Healy said he was pleased to see progress was under way to deliver the new building at the Cairns Hospital.

“The Palaszczuk Government has committed $70 million for this new Cairns Mental Health building, because we know it is much needed,” Mr Healy said.

“The new mental health building will replace ageing infrastructure with a modern, safe facility.”

Member for Barron River Craig Crawford said the existing mental health ward next to Kerwin Street will be demolished to make way for the new building.

“Work has already begun on a $7.24 million fit-out of a Mental Health Unit in a vacant space in Block D at the Cairns Hospital,” Mr Crawford said.

Speaker of the Queensland Parliament and Member for Mulgrave Curtis said the design of the new facilities was really important.

“In 2011 I was appointed as Queensland’s first stand-alone Minister for Mental Health and I have taken a very keen interest in government initiatives that support the emotional well-being of people in the Far North,” he said.

“The whole building will be designed to help people recover from mental illness. It will include a modern culturally appropriate design, family friendly spaces and the latest technology.

“We want to make sure we get the planning for the new building right, to deliver the best care possible for patients and an ideal environment for clinicians to continue the fantastic care they already provide.”

Member for Cook Cynthia Lui said the facility would service the whole region.

“The Mental Health Facility will provide the Cairns and Far North Queensland community access to contemporary mental health,” she said.

“Staff, consumers and carers have already started meeting with the architects to help design the new building to make sure it will meet their needs into the future.”

Cairns and Hinterland Hospital and Health Service Chief Executive Clare Douglas said the Block D upgrades would enable the relocation of patients prior to demolition of the existing facility.

“The Block D ward in the Cairns Hospital will include 10 psychiatric intensive care beds, 10 acute adult mental health beds, treatment rooms, sensory and quiet rooms, as well as family, lounge and dining areas,” she said.

Mental Health Service Director, Marie Kelly said the interim mental health unit in Block D has been specifically designed to meet the needs of mental health patients including therapeutic, safe spaces to provide treatment and care.

“All aspects within the environment have been considered including lighting, floor coverings, therapy and sensory modulation spaces,” she said.

Construction of the new facility at the Cairns Hospital is expected to begin in the 2020/21 financial year.




Source:   Queensland Government -

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