The Andrews Labor Government is providing more mental health support with a further $7 million to build 10 additional beds at Thomas Embling Hospital.

Minister for Mental Health Martin Foley made the announcement today while turning the sod for the new $9.5 million eight-bed Secure Psychiatric Intensive Care Unit.

The unit will be completed by April 2018 and will provide mental health services for prisoners on compulsory treatment orders.

Demand for mental health beds in the criminal justice system has increased over the past decade with more prisoners requiring compulsory treatment because this is not provided in prison.

The additional funding announced today will be used to provide additional beds within the existing Thomas Embling Facility and are expected to be ready from October this year.

This is the first time Thomas Embling has had an increase in capacity since 2000.

The Labor Government has provided an additional $27.7 million to expand forensic mental health care, including the Secure Psychiatric Intensive Care Unit at Thomas Embling Hospital.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Mental Health Martin Foley

“This additional investment towards forensic mental health means that patients can get the care and treatment they need to get well, stay well and stay out of the criminal justice system.”

“We will continue to work with Thomas Embling to ensure we can provide the most appropriate support for people in the criminal justice system with mental health needs.”