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Australian-first mental health facility opens for women impacted by trauma

November 29, 2022

For the first time, Australian women have access to dedicated, trauma-informed mental health care in a female-only environment with the official opening of Ramsay Clinic Thirroul in Wollongong, NSW.

The clinic, which began seeing patients in August, was officially opened by The Honourable Bronnie Taylor – Minister for Women, Minister for Regional Health, and Minister for Mental Health

Sexual assault survivor Bianca, 28, was among the first cohort of in-patients to attend Ramsay Clinic Thirroul in August

I have complex-Post Traumatic Stress Disorder that led me to spending the last 10 years trying to get the correct help,” Bianca said. 

“I was lucky enough to be one of the first few patients admitted in the first intake of women for PTSD phase 1 in Ramsay Clinic Thirroul. This PTSD phase 1 was so different to any other hospital. The entire approach was different and thorough in giving us the knowledge we needed. I finally understood why my brain worked the way it did because of my trauma. 

And with no men, I didn’t need to have my guard up and hide away every day or feel unsafe.

Director of Ramsay Mental Health, Anne Mortimer, said the facility will offer a new alternative for women suffering from complex mental health concerns.

“I am extremely proud we have now officially opened this important facility, the first of its kind in Australia,” Ms Mortimer said.

Twelve per cent of the Australian population, or more than 3 million people, will suffer from PTSD in their lifetime. Unfortunately, two-thirds of these will be female. 

“To date, there is a real shortage of women’s only mental health facilities in Australia. Ramsay Mental Health has been providing care for people affected by mental illness since 1964 and we understand that mental health challenges look different for everyone, especially trauma related mental health. We also understand that some women will heal best in a female-only environment. 

This is why Ramsay Health Care has established Ramsay Clinic Thirroul. Our team of mental health clinicians are experienced in the treatment of trauma disorders and will use a range of evidence-based programs to drive the best patient experiences and outcomes.

“Ramsay Clinic Thirroul will also help create the next generation of trauma informed mental health specialists. It will become a training centre for psychiatric, medical, psychological, allied health and nursing students to help build a workforce for the future that is trauma informed when managing complex mental health issues.” 

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