Freshwater Unit’s Contribution to Mental Health Reform

Exciting developments are underway as the Freshwater Mental Health Unit nears completion.

Freshwater Mental Health Unit, a key component of the NSW Government’s State Wide Mental Health Infrastructure Program is nearing completion.

This facility is dedicated to forensic mental health rehabilitative services in partnership with Justice Health & Forensic Mental Health Network. It will feature a new, secure five-bed mental health inpatient unit, complete with landscaping, driveways, footpaths, and associated services. The unit’s design aims to seamlessly integrate patient care and complement the existing high-security units at the Forensic Hospital.

We have encountered some challenges along the way in developing the design to align with the requirements expressed by end users and stakeholders during our workshops. However, our team has worked hard over the past year, conducting bi-weekly stakeholder consultation meetings and collaborating closely with each trade to update the design. Our primary focus has been to meet stakeholder needs while minimising cost impacts.

Despite these hurdles, we have introduced innovative solutions that have been well received. Through collaboration with Aluminium Windows Contractors, we have developed a robust profile for the steel custodial courtyard windows. This not only fulfilled the client’s request for cost savings but also ensured their suitability for a patient-accessible area.

Additionally, we achieved a significant milestone by implementing the first-ever custodial cavity sliding door in a New South Wales facility. This required extensive work on prototypes, security design, maintenance considerations, and fire egress requirements. The successful installation of this innovative solution showcases our commitment to finding effective and practical design enhancements.

Addressing durability concerns, we replaced the impact-resistant villaboard with more durable MDF for the wall linings. Furthermore, concealed framing was strategically positioned to enhance wall robustness in containment situations. These measures ensure the long-term durability and integrity of the unit.

We would like to acknowledge and celebrate the dedication and determination demonstrated by our team throughout this project. Despite the unique challenges of working on a highly secure project, we have navigated design changes, fostered strong relationships with specialty contractors, and maintained compliance with pre-approved designs. The clients have expressed their gratitude for our contributions to the project’s success.