A win for patients

THE Bega Mental Health Inpatient Unit received a much-needed boost last Friday.

The unit, which was built three years ago, received a donation of mental health textbooks.

The books are collectively valued at $2000 and will boost the resources available to trainees and practitioners.

The books were presented to Southern NSW Local Health District (SNSWLHD) staff last Friday by representatives of the NSW Rural Psychiatry Project.

The project is a joint venture between NSW Ministry of Health and The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists.

SNSWLHD’s director of mental health and drug and alcohol, David West, said the unit would benefit greatly from the donation.

At the presentation, Mr West said “thank you very much for this donation”.

“Our resources are small, so this is a significant contribution.”

Mr West said the SNSWLHD’s library was located “around four hours away” at Goulburn.

He said the donation of textbooks would ultimately benefit the unit’s patients.

“Hopefully our [staff] will find time to read through these books, and essentially, our clients will be the winners,” Mr West said.

“Our patients are the winners because we can provide a better service… it’s fantastic to get this in a remote area.”

The Bega Mental Health Inpatient Unit was built in August 2010.

The unit now has six rooms for patients and more than 20 

staff members.

Mr West said the unit was crucial for the Bega Valley.

“Previously, patients had to drive to Goulburn for this support, which could leave them feeling isolated.”

Project representative Nick Todorovski was on hand to present the textbooks to the Bega Mental Health Inpatient Unit.

Mr Todorovski said while there weren’t any trainees currently at Bega, there “will be more coming through in the future”.

The Rural Psychiatry Project is donating 384 textbooks across 16 sites in NSW and the handouts are worth over $33,000 in total.

“It’s a great opportunity to support for rural psychiatrists and practitioners,” Mr Todorovski said. 

“It will help to reduce the disparity between rural practitioners and their metro counterparts.”

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