The Western Australian Government says a new mental health facility opened in Perth today is the first of many it plans to open to overcome years of neglect in the sector. But assurances from the Government that patients with a history of violence will not be housed in the new facility have failed to alleviate the concerns of local residents.
The facility in Mount Hawthorn will accommodate 16 patients being treated for conditions such as depression, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder and the first patients will move in next week.
Health Minister Jim McGinty says Hawthorn House is one of several new facilities planned to meet the growing demand for accommodation for people with a mental illness.
The facility will be staffed by a specialist mental health team 24-hours a day, seven days a week to help people manage their illness before returning to live independently in their own homes.
The Minister said $1 million had been spent to convert the former hospital and aged care home into a specialised transitional housing facility for people with mental health problems.