There's five fewer beds available for patients at Shellharbour Hospital's acute mental health unit due to ongoing staff shortages.
It comes after news that the hospital's mental health service will have to cope with additional demand over the upcoming holiday period, with the forced shutdown of a sub-acute unit at Shoalhaven Hospital.
Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District recently confirmed its decision to shut down the 20-bed unit at the Nowra hospital for three weeks over Christmas and New Year.
ISLHD executive director mental health Caroline Langston said additional staff were currently being recruited to manage the workforce gaps at Shellharbour's busy mental health service.
"This highly skilled workforce is in short supply," she said.
"As a result, to ensure the safety and well-being of our staff and consumers, the (Eloura) unit will be temporarily reconfigured to assist in providing appropriate staffing."
Ms Langston said the mental health service was already using overtime, casual and part-time staff to meet the staffing requirements.
"When the additional staff have been recruited, the unit will return to its original configuration," she said.
Due to staff shortages, Ms Langston said the service was seeking additional support from community-based mental health teams.
It was also working with NSW Ambulance and other government and non-government agencies to better support those who frequently attended hospital EDs, to reduce re-admission.
If you need support call the Mental Health Line on 1800 011 511 or Lifeline on 13 11 14.