Australia’s first private, women’s-only mental health hospital opens

November 30, 2021 by J-Wire Newsdesk
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Cabrini Health has formally opened the Lisa Thurin Women’s Health Centre in Melbourne’s Elsternwick.

The Governor of Victoria Linda Dessau, Gandel Foundation Director Lisa Thurin and Parliamentary Secretary for Mental Health Steve Dimopoulos MP unveiled the plaque at the official opening of the Lisa Thurin Women’s Health Centre.

Today Parliamentary Secretary for Mental Health Steve Dimopoulos MP, officially opened the Lisa Thurin Women’s Health Centre, the country’s first private, women’s-only mental health hospital.

Located in the heart of Elsternwick, this service focuses on treatment for mental health conditions including mood disorders, addiction and complex trauma disorders, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

The building was partly funded by philanthropist and Gandel Foundation Director Lisa Thurin.

The Lisa Thurin Women’s Health Centre is a contemporary, 30-bed inpatient unit with psychosocial treatment programs, coupled with new, individualised treatment methods in a private and secure setting.

A short-stay mental health program is supported with intensive day programs, telehealth and community support. This model of care is steered by some of Australia’s leading psychiatrists who have special interests in women’s mental health and research.

Cabrini’s Chief of Mental Health and Outreach, Sharon Sherwood, said the new model of care offers women access to innovative care, providing holistic treatments designed to optimise outcomes.

“While both men and women’s mental health needs to be addressed, we know there is significant unmet need, for women in particular,” Ms Sherwood said.

“Apart from the lack of beds, a number of women don’t get help because the thought of having to go into a shared mental health space, with both men and women, makes them feel unsafe.

“The Lisa Thurin Women’s Health Centre is a safe and secure environment where women with ill mental health can focus on their treatment and returning to their community.”

Internationally renowned women’s mental health expert, Professor Jayashri Kulkarni, is the Director of the new women’s mental health hospital.

“My longstanding research and clinical experience underpin many of the new, holistic treatments we are offering for women with depression, trauma-related issues and addictions,” Prof Kulkarni said.

“We are continuing to develop our collaborative model of care that combines state-of-the-art innovations with kindness, respect and compassion – all tailored for women.”

Cabrini Australia Chief Executive Sue Williams said the global COVID-19 pandemic had highlighted the increase in the number of people suffering from mental ill-health.

“The incidence of mental health problems has increased substantially during the past two years,” Ms Williams said.

“Social isolation, domestic violence and financial hardship have all contributed to this increase and people feeling they have nowhere to turn.

“We are a mission-based organisation and felt it was important to address the unmet need for these vulnerable women.”

Philanthropist and Gandel Foundation Director Lisa Thurin, who generously donated towards the construction of this hospital, said she felt strongly about women prioritising their health and having the opportunity to meet their own particular health needs.

“Through this centre, we have a unique opportunity to help women with their distinct and specific mental health needs in a space and surrounding they can feel safe and secure in,” Ms Thurin said.

“This is truly a silent epidemic which is not being addressed appropriately and it requires a concerted effort to provide personalised approach to women’s needs and issues.”

 

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