Calvary expands Hyson Green mental health service

An expansion of the Hyson Green unit at Calvary Bruce Private Hospital will benefit Canberrans needing mental health care and support.

The 14-bed extension is due to open to patients on Monday, 18 December. Built over two levels, catering to inpatients and outpatients, it includes bedrooms and day-to-day treatment rooms on the ground floor and communal spaces and offices on the second level.

Calvary Bruce Private Hospital’s General Manager, Cherie Townsend, said the extension increases Hyson Green’s capacity to care for those in need in a purpose-built space.

More about the expansion

“Hyson Green has played an important role in supporting the mental health needs of people in the Territory since it was established more than 25 years ago,” Ms Townsend said.

“With this expansion, we will now have the capacity to provide care and support for up to 65 inpatients and outpatients.

“The extension also includes a dedicated gymnasium space, and we will be hiring an exercise physiologist to support patients who have set an exercise program as one of their goals of care.

“The extension means next year we can reintroduce our much-missed day program, which ceased during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Hyson Green supports people living with mental health conditions including anxiety, depression, mood disorders, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). It offers voluntary day- and in-patient programs with group and individual therapy sessions.

Hyson Green consumer representative Katie Tonacia said the opening marks an exciting milestone.

“Hyson Green has been a place where healing, understanding, and growth have been at the forefront of mental healthcare for many years, said Ms Tonacia, who is also CEO of community group Picking Up The Peaces, which provides mental health support and advocacy for first responders.

What it means for patients

“The expansion conveys a message of hope, support, and commitment to providing the highest quality mental healthcare for our region. For the many consumers who require a safe, nurturing, compassionate environment, with personalised mental healthcare, these additional contemporary facilities, holistic programs, and professional staff are a welcomed blessing to our community.

“Mental health care isn’t just about treating mental illness; it’s also about promoting overall mental health and wellbeing, learning how to build resilience, and including the patient in their own care and planning.

“From someone with a lived experience of caring for a loved one with chronic PTSD, anxiety and depression who has required multiple admissions, this new expansion can only enrich the care environment, making it even more effective, and responsive to people needing mental healthcare and support”.

As well as the eight visiting specialist psychiatrists, patients are supported by a dedicated team of mental health nurses, social workers, art therapists and psychologists.

Regional Chief Executive Officer for Calvary ACT and Southern NSW, Ross Hawkins, said Hyson Green also played an important role for people in the surrounding regions, including Queanbeyan and Bungendore, Goulburn, the South Coast, and the Monaro and Hilltops regions.

“This is an important expansion of service for people needing expert mental health care. Calvary is continuing to invest in our services in the region and at Calvary Bruce Private Hospital to meet the health demands of the communities that we serve.” Mr Hawkins said