New accommodation units will be built in northern Adelaide in an effort to reduce the amount of people with mental health issues who remain in hospital due to a lack of appropriate housing in the community.
- New housing will be built for NDIS clients with mental health issues
- The accommodation should free up beds in hospitals
- Residents will have mental health support in the new units
The South Australian government will invest $5 million to construct 16 units in Clearview, which will be operated by Mind Australia.
The housing will provide long-term options for those who have a psychological disability, have a National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) package and are in need of supported housing.
Mind Australia chief executive Gill Callister says the accommodation will benefit people with mental illnesses and their families.
"People who are living with an enduring challenge of mental illness, but also want to get on with their lives and be part of the community, get the opportunity to have safe housing," she said.
Ms Callister said the new housing would allow people to start "rebuilding their lives, their family connections and get back into the kind of life we all want to have."
"There's trained mental health staff there 24/7 providing individual support and group support to the clients," she said.
From hospital to home
The housing is designed to free up hospital beds and relieve pressures on the health care system.
There are currently nearly 120 NDIS clients across Adelaide hospitals waiting for appropriate housing in the community.
A majority of those have mental health issues, but Health Minister Chris Picton acknowledged that more needs to be done to clear the backlog of patients in hospital.
"This is a contributor, this isn't the answer to all the issues in itself," he said.
"This will enable people who are stuck inside hospitals at the moment to get appropriate housing in the community.
"It also means that they get support so that will reduce the chances of them having to come back to hospital in the future."
Mind Australia already operates self-contained units for people with mental health disabilities in Glenside.
Part of a community
Marlon Collier-Nedd, who lives with schizophrenia and psychosis, has been living in his apartment for more than four years.
His time living there has improved his quality of life.
"It's a good place to get support here, the staff are great, the units are great and you can just be more involved if you have any setbacks in life," Marlon said.
"It's just an opportunity to be myself around here and do the things I'd like to do and things I don't normally get the opportunity to do."
It is a far cry from where his life once was.
"I've been in many hospitals and mental health hospitals, living with family and they kind of got sick of me … with my problems," he said.
"It's been pretty difficult, but I'm mentally stable at the moment and it's good.
"You can basically be within the community of people here.
"The residents and I get along with everyone here as well so it's pretty awesome.
"I'd rather be here than hospital, whatever the future holds for me, and being here and maybe moving out into the community, we'll see what happens."
Construction on the new housing is due to start in early 2023.