Mental health centre to create 15 jobs

FIFTEEN jobs will be up for grabs at the new $7.2 million Dubbo Mental Health Rehabilitation and Recovery Centre.

The centre, built this year beside Dubbo Base Hospital, will be run by non-government organisation (NGO) Neami Limited.

The state government announced this week that the NGO had won the tender to operate the sub-acute facility, set to open in March 2013 after 15 staff were "locally recruited".

Neami has secured a three-year contract for which financial terms have not been released.

The new centre will support people over the age of 18 years who are voluntarily seeking help to better manage their mental health problems.

NSW Mental Health Minister Kevin Humphries said they might need support to stay out of the inpatient mental health unit at Dubbo Base Hospital, or need to transition from the unit to home.

Clients of the centre will be offered the chance to hone life skills such as cooking, washing and management of medication.

"The design of the facility reflects a domestic environment, with individual rooms, and a strong connection with outdoor areas, which will enhance recovery," the minister said.

Construction of the new 10-bed centre has been paid for by the federal government under the Council of Australian Governments New Subacute Beds Guarantee.

The Western NSW Local Health District has told of it filling the sub-acute gap in the continuum of mental health services in the region.

Director of Mental Health and Drug and Alcohol Service Dr Russell Roberts said the decision was made in 2011 to operate the centre in partnership with an NGO.

"I welcome this new partnership between the Western NSW Local Health District Mental Health and Drug and Alcohol Service and Neami," he said.

"I am looking forward to the unit being opened and delivering the best quality care to the residents of Dubbo and the Western region."

The government reports that Neami is an organisation that provides rehabilitation and recovery support to people with a serious mental illness who require assistance in areas of skill development, social contact and housing.

Mr Humphries said Neami had a strong track record in running facilities in Victoria.

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