Health fa­cil­ity needed

Pilbara News - - News - Peter Long Peter Long is the City of Kar­ratha mayor.

The coun­cil is aware of con­cerns in the com­mu­nity re­gard­ing the pro­posed step-up, step-down men­tal health fa­cil­ity.

The pro­posed $9 mil­lion fa­cil­ity is a State Govern­ment de­vel­op­ment, com­mis­sioned by the Men­tal Health Com­mis­sion of WA.

De­spite some mis­in­for­ma­tion in the com­mu­nity, the pro­posed six-bed fa­cil­ity is not a psy­chi­atric hospi­tal or a drug and al­co­hol re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion cen­tre. Step-up, step-down fa­cil­i­ties of­fer sup­port pro­grams in a res­i­den­tial set­ting for peo­ple in the com­mu­nity who do not re­quire hos­pi­tal­i­sa­tion but need some help to man­age their men­tal health.

They are for short stays of up to 30 days.

This model al­lows res­i­dents to re­main close to fam­ily and friends and not con­trib­ute to feel­ings of iso­la­tion or the stigma of men­tal health is­sues which can sig­nif­i­cantly af­fect a per­son’s re­cov­ery.

The MHCWA se­lected the site in Bul­garra af­ter con­sid­er­ing a num­ber of sites.

The Nickol Bay Hospi­tal site does not meet the cri­te­ria of a step-up, step-down fa­cil­ity.

There are two step-up, step-down fa­cil­i­ties in WA — in Joon­dalup and Rock­ing­ham.

There is no ev­i­dence of vi­o­lence as­so­ci­ated with these fa­cil­i­ties and they have pos­i­tive re­la­tions with their neigh­bours, ac­cord­ing to the MHCWA.

There is also no ev­i­dence that small-scale men­tal health fa­cil­i­ties cause prop­erty val­ues in the neigh­bour­hood to de­cline. Step-up, step-down fa­cil­i­ties op­er­ate in Al­bany, Broome, Bun­bury and Kal­go­or­lie to in­crease men­tal health ser­vices across re­gional WA.

There is strong de­mand for in­creased men­tal health ser­vices in the Pil­bara.

Many lo­cal peo­ple are at risk of men­tal health is­sues and although the coun­cil has no de­ci­sion-mak­ing au­thor­ity, the pro­posed fa­cil­ity would be a valu­able ad­di­tion to our city.

PIL­BARA PIC­TURE How good is it when you can park up with your mates and live a lit­tle? Zaf Mokta did just that out at Cleaverville.

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