In Health

Victoria Minister for Mental Health Mary Wooldridge

Improving Safety For Women In Mental Health Services

Victor P Taffa

The Victorian Coalition Government is inviting proposals from the state’s hospitals and health services for funding to improve mental health facilities for women patients, Mental Health Minister Mary Wooldridge announced today.

Ms. Wooldridge announced that a second round of grants totalling $1 Million is available as part of the Coalition’s $4 Million election commitment to establishing specific spaces and other safety improvements for female patients in inpatient mental health services.

“The safety of women in inpatient mental health care has been a consistent concern of consumers, consumer groups, families, communities, health services and the Coalition Government.” Ms. Wooldridge said.

“Women report that they can feel vulnerable in mixed gender areas, where there are typically more males than females, an inability to lock rooms or protect belongings, and limited privacy.”

“This funding will be invested in capital projects that improve the safety, security and comfort of women in mental health inpatient facilities.”

The funding is available for improvements and modifications, including:

  • Women-only corridors and bedroom clusters;
  • Women-only spaces, including lounges and quiet rooms;
  • Lounges and family rooms that are equipped to meet the needs of children;
  • Women-only outdoor spaces, including courtyards and gardens;
  • Modifications that improve safety for women, such as lockable bedroom and bathroom doors.

“In the first round of grants earlier this year, the Coalition Government provided a total of $1 Million to support nine health services for 11 projects that improve the safety and comfort of women in inpatient care.” Ms. Wooldridge said.

“We are again inviting submissions from Victorian inpatient mental health service providers, with another $1 Million for works available in 2012-13.”


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