A new purpose-built $2.5 million mental illness facility at the University of Wollongong’s Shoalhaven Campus is officially underway following a sod turning ceremony on Friday.
The Mental Illness in Nowra District: Goals and Prevention (MIND the GaP) facility is a joint initiative of the UOW, Shoalhaven City Council and the Federal Government that will help address the high level of mental health needs in the Shoalhaven, particularly among vulnerable and younger people.
The UOW contributed $1.23 million towards the project while Federal Member for Gilmore Ann Sudmalis secured $1.229 million from the Commonwealth Government’s National Stronger Regions Fund.
“I congratulate the UOW and all stakeholders involved on bringing this wonderful project to fruition,” Mrs Sudmalis said.
“This will support the region’s economic development by providing new employment opportunities for residents.
“This project will create 20 full-time jobs during construction, plus another 11 full-time research and administration jobs.”
UOW Pro Vice-Chancellor Health Strategy and Executive Dean of the Faculty of Science, Medicine and Health, Professor Alison Jones said the initiative will help improve lives and community health through prevention, early intervention and developing new best practice.
“A major area of concern for the Shoalhaven is trauma recovery and suicide prevention,” Prof Jones said.
“Initiatives delivered out of the MIND the GaP facility will focus on developing new models of care in suicide prevention, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and depression – all backed by evidence-based research.”