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A new era of care for SA veterans

A new $15 million veterans’ mental health precinct located at Glenside Health Service Campus was officially opened today, marking a new era for South Australian veterans receiving specialist mental health care.

The Jamie Larcombe Centre includes an ambulatory service incorporating outpatient treatment areas and a post-traumatic stress disorder service, 24 single rooms with private ensuites, consulting rooms, a gymnasium, and a partnerships hub providing veterans with access to information about support services from ex-service organisations on-site.

The Centre is named in honour of Sapper Jamie Ronald Larcombe, who was born in Kingscote, Kangaroo Island and was killed in action on 19 February 2011 during a deployment to Afghanistan.

Last year his parents and three sisters planted a Lone Pine tree at the site of the new building, which is the centrepiece of a new memorial garden.

The new Centre includes:

  • A purpose built, contemporary mental health unit incorporating ward and outpatient areas along with a courtyard and seven garden areas designed to facilitate recovery.
  • Library, communal lounge rooms, private family rooms and a children’s playground for visiting families to enjoy.
  • Co-location of clinical services with a teaching and research hub.
  • In ward tele-psychiatry facilities, enabling veterans from country areas to access psychiatry services closer to home.
  • Designated separate inpatient areas for vulnerable groups.
  • Electro convulsive therapy provided on the Glenside Health Service Campus.
  • Access to PTSD services for veterans, police and emergency services personnel, acknowledging that they have unique treatment needs as a result of their service.
  • Drug and Alcohol Services SA are also co-located at Glenside Health Service Campus.

Southern Adelaide Local Health Network Clinical Unit Head and Senior Psychiatrist at the Jamie Larcombe Centre, Dr Taryn Cowain said staff, patients and members from veteran organisations have been working hard to ensure the history, culture and healing ambiance of Ward 17 at the Repatriation General Hospital is retained in the new centre.

“Our new facility is built upon extensive research on the best way to build a unit sensitive to the needs of all veterans and serving members with mental health challenges, women and men, those with children and those benefitting from service dogs,” said Dr Cowain.

“We are looking forward to getting settled and continuing to deliver vital services to patients into the future.”

Final building fit out and landscaping will occur over the coming weeks, with services transitioning from the Repatriation General Hospital to the Centre next month.

Image Caption: The Jamie Larcombe Centre will give ex-serving men and women access to 21st Century, modern health care facilities.

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