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Thursday, April 22, 2021

Gawanggal mental health unit helps patients return to normal life

A newly refurbished mental health unit, accommodating 10 patients, will help Canberrans with mental health conditions to return to the community.

Gawanggal supports Canberrans aged 18-65 with severe or enduring mental illness transition from the Dhulwa Mental Health Unit rehabilitation program back into their community. (Dhulwa Mental Health Unit treats and cares for adults with complex mental health needs who are, or could be, involved with the criminal justice system.)

The unit opened last week in the former Brian Hennessy Rehabilitation Centre site in Canberra’s north. Several patients have already moved in.

Gawanggal would give medium to long-term in-patients a supported environment to develop their daily living skills and build independence, said Emma Davidson, Minister for Mental Health.

“For some people, the activities of day-to-day life – such as shopping, cooking, and managing their finances – can be challenging, and that’s where this accommodation will make a difference. It will ease the transition from a rehabilitation setting to the demands of daily life outside Gawanggal.”

Ngunnawal Elders named the unit Gawanggal (“Honey”).

The ACT Government invested almost $5.6 million in the unit with mental health funding from the 2018-19 budget. As part of the Parliamentary and Governing Agreement, the Government has committed to fund 10 more beds on the site.

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