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    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Minister for Health and Minister for Ambulance Services
    The Honourable Cameron Dick

    Government steps up mental health support in Mackay

    Minister for Health and Minister for Ambulance Services
    The Honourable Cameron Dick

    Friday, October 27, 2017

    Government steps up mental health support in Mackay

    The Queensland Government has announced Zined Group as the successful tenderer to construct Mackay’s new Step Up Step Down (SUSD) adult mental health facility.

    The Mackay-based construction firm won the bid for the $5.4 million project and is now on-site preparing for construction. Eleven jobs will be created during the construction phase.

    Member for Mackay Julieanne Gilbert the unit would provide an integral component of care for adults experiencing severe and complex mental illness.

    “SUSD units provide short-term rehabilitation, with a recovery focus, for patients requiring sub-acute mental health services within a community setting,” she said.

    “They may be stepping down from a stay in the adult acute inpatient service where they require additional support to maintain their recovery or stepping up from the community when they need some additional support but don’t need acute services.”

    Member for Mirani Jim Pearce said the Mackay SUSD unit was due for completion in June 2018.

    “I’ve made it clear that expanding mental health services for our community is of particular importance to me, and I’m pleased to be part of a Government that is delivering more mental health services for the people of Mackay and its surrounds,” Mr Pearce.

    “The Palaszczuk Government is committed to expanding and improving mental health services, illustrated by the total re-write of mental health legislation for the first time in about 15 years and last year’s release of the first suicide prevention strategy from a Queensland Government in many years.”

    Mr Dick said the construction of three SUSD facilities in Mackay, Bundaberg and Gladstone was announced in June 2016 as part of the $180 million Significant Regional Infrastructure Projects Program launched by Deputy Premier Jackie Trad. 

    “These units provide access to appropriate services as close to home as possible as part of the Palaszczuk Government’s $350 million plan for mental health, alcohol and drug services, Connecting care to recovery 2016-2021,” he said.

    “Our Government’s 2017-18 State Budget will also deliver on new youth Step Up Step Down facilities and day programs at Logan and the Gold Coast.

    “The Palaszczuk Government’s 2017-18 State Budget has allocated nearly $140 million in new capital infrastructure for mental health – the biggest capital investment in a decade.

    “In contrast, the Productivity Commission found when Opposition Leader Tim Nicholls was Treasurer, Queensland’s spending on mental health fell to the lowest amount in Australia on a per capita basis.

    Mackay HHS Chief Executive Jo Whitehead said Mackay HHS had a strong focus on improving community mental health.

    A six-bed interim Step Up Step Down Service has operated since July and is already making a difference.

    “Having this service means our community has the right supports available to them at the right time to support their recovery,” Ms Whitehead said.

    “The SUSD service helps support consumers as they recover by providing accommodation in a safe and therapeutic environment.

    “We’re seeing already that this model of care is helping people avoid the need to go to hospital if they are ‘stepping up’.

    “It bridges the gap between hospital and home and is helping decrease the rate of hospital readmissions for people who have ‘stepped down’ from the hospital inpatient unit.

    “While the service has operated well from a temporary location we are very much looking forward to expanding the service to a new purpose-built facility.”

    Media contact:              Cath Palmer 0424 823 424