Grampians Health is part of a new campaign seeking support for a series of transformational projects for Ballarat and the region.  Ballarat. Now and Into the Future 2022 is a co-operative campaign between nine of Ballarat’s key organisations representing the health, education, tourism, commercial, local government and advocacy sectors. 

The projects will each bring city-wide and regional benefits including – jobs during construction, investment in our economy, improved health outcomes and transport connectivity, increased opportunities for Ballarat’s tertiary sector, and enhanced offerings for visitors. 


The six transformational projects are: 

  • Community Mental Health Facility – a purpose-built facility to meet the rapidly growing demand for community-based mental health services in Ballarat and the Grampians Region.
  • Ballarat Major Events Precinct Expansion – a once in a generation opportunity to deliver a world class major events precinct for sport and entertainment.
  • Sovereign Master Plan Phase 1b – will deliver the next exciting stage of development at Sovereign Hill and boost visitation to Ballarat and the west.
  • Ballarat Link Road Next Stages – will complete a 12 km arterial to connect our rapidly building growth area and improve freight movement through Ballarat to four regional highways and key ports.
  • Ballarat University Town – will bring thousands of Federation University students to the Ballarat CBD each day by establishing state of the art teaching facilities at SMB Campus.
  • Circular Economy Precinct anchored by a Materials Recovery Facility – will develop a new precinct at the Ballarat West Employment Zone centred on a new facility to sort mixed recyclables from across our region so they can be repurposed by circular businesses into useful new products. 


Grampians Health is leading the campaign for a new Community Mental Health Facility to meet the rapidly growing demand for community-based mental health services in the Ballarat and Grampians region. The purpose-built facility will provide early intervention services in a contemporary and highly accessible setting, serving a catchment area of more than 300,000 people.


The Ask

$20 million to construct a purpose-built Community Mental Health Facility for the Grampians Region to meet the growing demand for community-based mental health services.


Project Description

A new purpose-built Community Mental Health Facility is urgently needed in Ballarat to ensure the provision of much needed community-based mental health services for those in need in the Grampians region.

Grampians Health’s Clinical Services Plan highlights the need to significantly increase the capacity of community-based mental health care in the region. The plan reveals that Grampians Health will need to increase community mental health capacity from 113,000 consultations in 2019/2020 to a baseline of 163,900 appointments by 2036/37, based on the increased prevalence of mental health issues within our community and on expected population growth.

The Clinical Services Plan also highlights the need for an additional 65 outpatient clinic consultation rooms in Ballarat and four additional consultation rooms in Ararat and Horsham. There is an urgent need for the facility if we are to meet the needs of the Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System as the recommendations within the report increases the number of contact points for each client, hence an additional 65 consultation rooms need to be provided in 2026/27.

Population growth, combined with declining services in rural areas and the continuing increase in mental health conditions in the broader community, are putting pressure on existing services.

The purpose-built facility will assist Grampians Health to meet the significant projected growth in demand for mental health services, offering the following:

  • Access and navigation support;
  • Initial support discussions and comprehensive assessment;
  • Treatment and therapy;
  • Care planning and coordination;
  • Education, peer support and self-help;
  • Wellbeing support; and
  • Primary and secondary consultation and shared care.

The facility will provide short-term treatment and care interventions for people with mental illness in crisis as well as ongoing support for people with prolonged and severe mental illness who may require longer periods of treatment.


Community Benefits

The Queen Victoria building, which houses the existing community mental health services, is not fit for purpose and has significant constraints in relation to space, access, and safety for staff and patients. The Queen Victoria building is only a quarter of the size required to meet demand.

The new purpose-built community mental health facility will enable delivery of patient-centric care – that is, the right care at the right time and in the right place. It will enable the provision of early intervention services in a community-based setting which allows the best opportunity to avoid care in a hospital environment.

A Community Mental Health Facility will enable staff to be co-located, helping overcome challenges in recruiting new staff due to inadequate space and facilities at the current site and meeting best practice standards in the provision of mental health services.

It will also greatly support young people in our community struggling with mental health. According to the Headspace National Youth Mental Health Survey, rates of psychological distress remained high among Australian young people in 2021. It’s estimated that one in three (34%) young people report high levels of distress. Left untreated these issues can damage the development of one’s indispensable skills, including social and communication skills. A thorough understanding about youth mental health issues as well as how to approach a struggling teen or young adult is vital for their recovery.


Economic Benefits

The $20 million project will create significant economic benefits and jobs for Ballarat and the region during an estimated 18-month construction phase. With boosted Victorian Government funding announced for the Victorian mental health system, staffing requirements for Grampians Health’s mental health services are estimated to increase by between 50 per cent and 75 per cent, or approximately 150 staff.

A contemporary, community-facing facility will help to accommodate current staff and the significant increase in personnel required to deliver an expanded service which is responsive to current and projected future demand.


Environmental Benefits

The new facility will be built to contemporary and rigorous environmental standards to maximise energy efficiency and reduce carbon emissions.


The nine Ballarat organisations supporting Ballarat. Now and Into the Future 2022 are: 

  • Australian Catholic University
  • Ballarat Regional Tourism 
  • Central Highlands Water 
  • City of Ballarat 
  • Commerce Ballarat 
  • Committee for Ballarat 
  • Federation University 
  • Grampians Health 
  • Sovereign Hill 


Visit for more information.

Have something to tell us? We welcome all feedback from patients, family members or carers. Tell us more.