$22 million in mental health funding consolidated to help patients across Perth

Health Minister Roger Cook with patient Shane Stevenson at the SJOG Ursula Frayne unit in Mt Lawley. Photo: Andrew Ritchie
Health Minister Roger Cook with patient Shane Stevenson at the SJOG Ursula Frayne unit in Mt Lawley. Photo: Andrew Ritchie

OVER $22m in funding has been consolidated to help older adults access mental health services in Perth.

Deputy Premier and mental health minister Roger Cook made the announcement today at St John of God Mt Lawley hospital.

The funding will support the hospital’s 12 bed Ursula Frayne unit, which takes public patients.

The unit helps older adults learn how to manage their symptoms with the goal of increased understanding about how lifestyle factors impact mood and mental health and reducing the risk of relapse.

“We’ve funded the Ursula Frayne unit for some time, but there’s been different agencies involved – the Mental Health Commission has consolidated that funding,” Mr Cook said.

He said the additions of more access to consultants, stronger links to psychiatry services at St John of God Midland Public Hospital and increased admission hours were important enhancements to the contract.

“With between 10 to 15 per cent of older adults suffering from depression and 10 per cent from anxiety, we need a variety of ways to address a variety of needs,” Mr Cook said.

“This service is one way we can help them continue to enjoy happy productive lives.”

St John of God acting chief executive Vanessa Unwin said the consolidated services would help ease the transition of patients back into the community.

“It will help us really own the unit, and enables us to grow where we need it,” she said.