Cabrini Health has formally opened the Lisa Thurin Women’s Health Centre in Elsternwick, the first ever private, women’s only mental health hospital in Australia.
The 30-bed inpatient unit plans to focus on treatment for mental health conditions including mood disorders, addiction and complex trauma disorders, including post-traumatic stress disorder.
Speaking at the opening, philanthropist and Gandel Foundation director Lisa Thurin, whose generosity brought the centre to life, noted that around one in six women in Australia will experience depression and one in three women will experience anxiety during their lifetime.
“Women also experience post-traumatic stress disorder and eating disorders at higher rates than men,” she noted, adding, “Through this centre, we have a unique opportunity to help women with their distinct and specific mental health needs in a space and surroundings they can feel safe and secure in.”
Looking to innovate the way the community supports women in need, the centre offers psychosocial treatment programs and new, individualised treatment methods in a private and secure setting, steered by some of Australia’s leading psychiatrists.
Centre director Professor Jayashri Kulkarni said the plan was to continue to develop “a collaborative model of care that combines state-of-the-art innovations with kindness, respect and compassion – all tailored for women”.
Cabrini Australia chief executive Sue Williams noted the pandemic had shone a light on mental health, commenting that “social isolation, domestic violence and financial hardship have all contributed to this increase”.
Concurring, Cabrini’s Chief of Mental Health and Outreach, Sharon Sherwood, recognised that while both men and women’s mental health needs to be addressed, there is an unmet need for women in particular, which is why this centre will be a safe haven for women only.
Parliamentary Secretary for Mental Health Steve Dimopoulos thanked the Gandel Foundation for making the centre a reality.