By Casey Neill
Sixty extra mental health beds are now available in Greater Dandenong.
Premier Daniel Andrews opened South Eastern Private Hospital’s new mental health service on Wednesday 24 August.
Professor David Barton will also head a new mental health research unit co-located with the Noble Park hospital, which is a member of the Healthe Care group.
His initial focus will be a study of treatment-resistant depression.
Healthe Care CEO Steve Atkins said figures from the Black Dog Institute showed that one in seven Australians would experience depression in their lifetime.
He said this new mental health facility would focus on adult mood disorders and have young adult programs and an older person’s unit.
South Eastern Private Hospital CEO Andrew Blyth said he was excited to add mental health to the hospital’s existing general medicine, oncology, rehabilitation and palliative care services.
“Within the Monash Health catchment there’s about 440 mental health public beds but very little private beds,” he said.
Mr Blyth said the hospital had a maternity-focus “back when this part of town was big for new families”.
“As our community’s got older, we’ve progressed,” he said.
“Rehabilitation is a big part of what we’re doing, and palliative care and oncology.
“The other big change, not just in our community but in Australia, is the need and the openness to treat mental health.”