Construction starts on new Tamworth Mental Health Unit

Tamworth and surrounding communities are a step closer to enhanced mental health services, with construction underway on a new mental health unit at the Tamworth Hospital campus.
Health Infrastructure Executive Director of Rural and Regional projects Amanda Bock said the turning of the first sod marked a significant milestone in delivering the new building, which will replace the existing Banksia Mental Health Unit.
“The Tamworth community will benefit from a contemporary mental health unit, which will enhance the delivery of health services in a modern, culturally safe and supportive environment,” Ms Bock said.
“It’s exciting to see construction underway on the new building which will have direct access to the hospital, providing mental health support to the community when they need it most.
“Feedback from the community, staff and stakeholders has been integral in helping shape the new facility, which will create a therapeutic space to support better outcomes for people with mental health needs, their families and carers.”
The Tamworth Mental Health Unit is being delivered as part of the NSW Government’s $700 million Statewide Mental Health Infrastructure Program.
Dr Ramsey Awad, Hunter New England Health’s Executive Director for Infrastructure, Planning and Sustainability, said the new unit’s design pays respect to the culture and values of the Kamilaroi and Gomeroi people. 
“The colours of the new unit draw from local inspiration, as well as views of the mountains beyond and their connected skyline, to create a sense of place and enable people to know where they are on Country,” Dr Awad said. 
“The three rivers surrounding Tamworth are also reflected in the unit’s exterior colours and design.
“A new forecourt will be created full of native gardens as a place to gather, along with a family room and courtyard, providing space for people and their families to heal.”
The new unit will provide welcoming, safe and supportive facilities with an expansion of services including:

  • adolescent inpatient beds (four)
  • 20-bed adult area, as well as five-bed adult high acuity zone
  • eight-bed older persons’ area.

Hansen Yuncken was appointed to build the new facility following a competitive tender process. 
Services at Tamworth Hospital and Banksia Mental Health Unit will continue to operate as normal during construction, which is expected to be completed in 2025.