Greater support for mental health patients transitioning back into the community


The ACT Government has bolstered support for people receiving inpatient mental health care to transition back to everyday living in the community through a newly refurbished mental health unit, offering accommodation for up to ten patients.

The unit was gifted the Ngunnawal name Gawanggal, by Ngunnawal Elders, which means honey.

Minister for Mental Health Emma Davidson says Gawanggal will support Canberrans with underlying mental health conditions to safely transition out of rehabilitation accommodation back into their community.

“Gawanggal, located at the former Brian Hennessy Rehabilitation Centre site in Canberra’s north, will give people who are undergoing medium to long-term inpatient treatment a supported environment to develop their daily living skills and build independence for independent living,” Minister Davidson said.

“The unit opened last week and there are already several patients who have moved in to progress their rehabilitation journey.”

Gawanggal supports Canberrans, 18-65, who are experiencing severe or enduring mental illness transition down from the Dhulwa Mental Health Unit rehabilitation program back into their community.

“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 of Gawanggal,” Minister Davidson said.

The ACT Government invested almost $5.6 million into the refurbished 10-bed unit with mental health funding from the 2018-19 budget. As part of the Parliamentary and Governing Agreement, the government is also committed to fund an additional ten beds on the site.”