Dubbo's new mental health centre nears completion

THE non-government organisation that will run Dubbo's new mental health recovery centre is set to be named soon.

Formerly referred to as a sub-acute mental health facility, the $7.2 million centre next to Dubbo Base Hospital is nearing completion.

It will support the journey home of people in the hospital's 18-bed inpatient facility for acute cases of mental health, and accept members of the regional community in a bid to prevent their hospitalisation.

Within the walls of the brand new building, they will practise life skills and learn to better manage relationships and therapies.

The centre will have a "strong focus" on providing care for the Aboriginal and remote populations of the region.

"The facility will provide a step-down and step-up drug and alcohol rehabilitation and recovery service in a family-centred and culturally-appropriate residential environment," NSW Health Minister Jillian Skinner said when announcing in 2011 that National Buildplan Group had won the tender to build the centre.

Yesterday a spokeswoman for the Western NSW Local Health District indicated that the project was on track.

"The building works are in the final stages with external cladding about 95 per cent complete, and external landscaping and internal fit-out underway," she said.

"The project is scheduled to be complete by the end of the year.

"Please stay tuned for an announcement in the near future on the successful NGO (non-government organisation) to run the facility."

In July the health district advised that an "exhaustive" tendering process was underway to find and appoint an operator.

"The operation of the centre will be fully integrated into the existing service infrastructure for mental health services in Dubbo and regions," Raphael Chapman said.

The new centre will include 10 bedrooms with ensuites, consulting and meeting rooms, an activity room, living and dining space and community gardens.

Kitchen and laundry facilities will be utilised by clients with the aim of improving their ability to take care of themselves.

Entry to the centre will be on a voluntary basis.

It is being funded by NSW Health and the Commonwealth government under the Council of Australian Governments Sub Acute Beds Program.

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