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Source: New Zealand Government

Health Minister Ayesha Verrall has opened two new state-of-the-art mental health facilities at the Christchurch Hillmorton Hospital campus, as the Government ramps up its efforts to build a modern fit for purpose mental health system.

The buildings, costing $81.8 million, are one of 16 capital projects the Government has funded from the $836.1 million mental health capital budget that is improving the way mental health services are delivered.

“We inherited seriously aging mental health facilities not fit for modern purpose. The Government has made a record investment in mental health in recent years, so it’s great to see new facilities like this coming online,” said Ayesha Verrall.

“We’ve heard from mental health patients that their surroundings are very important to their wellbeing, so we expect new and improved facilities will make a huge difference to patients and their whānau.

“Both facilities have been designed to provide a welcoming and homely feel and have been designed using valuable input from iwi, clinicians and people with lived experience.

“Putting people at the centre of healthcare with better services and supports is what our new mental health system is all about,” said Ayesha Verrall.

The first of the new buildings provide 16 inpatients beds as part of a Child Adolescent and Family service. A further 13 inpatient beds are for people with eating disorders as well as mothers and babies.

The facility includes a children’s playground, courtyards and a classroom for the Southern Health School to support young people’s learning if required.

The second building will house an adult mental health inpatient service providing 16 beds covering a range of treatment options, including extended treatment and intensive rehabilitation

Inpatients in both buildings will have their own rooms and their own service-specific communal areas.

A new clean energy centre for the Hillmorton site is also part of the redevelopment. This uses sustainable ground source heat pump technology and will help reduce emissions as part of the carbon neutral public service goals.

“This is the next stage of Hillmorton’s major infrastructure redevelopment programme which is one of the largest investments in New Zealand’s mental health infrastructure in history,” said Ayesha Verrall.