Karratha step-up step-down mental health facility on track

Alicia PereraPilbara News
The new proposed site for a mental health step-up step-down facility in Karratha.
Camera IconThe new proposed site for a mental health step-up step-down facility in Karratha. Credit: Facebook

Development of the proposed Pilbara step-up, step-down mental health facility is progressing, with the State Government confirming design of the centre is nearing finalisation and an estimated date of late 2020 for practical completion.

Alanna Clohesy, parliamentary secretary to Mental Health Minister Roger Cook, provided an update on the facility’s progress in response to questions from WA Nationals deputy leader and Mining and Pastoral Region MLC Jacqui Boydell in Parliament this month.

Ms Clohesy said Lot 502 Gregory Way, in the Karratha suburb of Bulgarra, remained the preferred location for the facility and the Mental Health Commission was in the process of negotiating purchase of the site from the City of Karratha.

She also said a schematic design of the facility had been developed, and the design phase was expected to be completed by the end of March.

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Practical completion of the centre is estimated by late 2020.

The six-bed Karratha facility, which would service the whole Pilbara, is intended to provide short-term residential support for people after hospitalisation for mental illness or those at risk of deteriorating mental health and possible hospitalisation.

However, its proposed location —first in Gawthorne Drive in Millars Well and most recently in Gregory Way — has been the subject of significant community concern in Karratha because of the likely proximity to homes, schools and licensed venues.

Mental Health Commissioner Timothy Marney said the commission was coordinating community engagement in partnership with the City, including visiting Karratha this month to provide people with information and respond to concerns.

“Ongoing engagement will occur during the development of the service,” he said.

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