MaFU offers families experiencing mental health concerns the option of 7 days a week, overnight care and support as an inpatient. We provide a therapeutic treatment plan with goal-setting and advice for you, your baby and family. 

In case of emergency call 000

The Mother & Family Unit will be re-opening from 6 July 2020. We will provide 24hr support, 7 days a week from this date.

What do we do?

A specialist perinatal mental health inpatient unit, we treat parents and infants who experience mild to moderate mental illness within the perinatal period (from conception to 12 months of age).

We deliver a person-centred and evidence-based treatment to meet the needs of each individual mother/family and infant. The team includes a psychiatrist, mental health nurses, occupational therapist, social worker and psychologists. Visiting practitioners, include a paediatrician and lactation consultant.

One of our community-based programs offered to parents in a six-week attachment-focused parenting program called “Circle of Security” which is free of charge and aims to enhance the parent-child relationship.

What can you expect?

This program is an inpatient stay, which means that both parent and infant will be admitted to our purpose-built unit, where support is provided for mental health symptoms, while facilitating the relationship between parent and infant.

We assess your needs and individualise your treatment to support you throughout your journey of recovery.

We have a number of additional options available to families, including community-based treatment and group programs, as either an inpatient or community- based.

Who do we care for?

We work with families in the perinatal period - during pregnancy and up to 12 months post birth. We provide treatment and support to women experiencing mental health difficulties, including those experiencing struggles with their transition to parenthood, symptoms of anxiety and depression or more serious mental health conditions.

We care for people living in the Grampians Area Mental Health Service (GAMHS) region and the Glenelg Area Mental Health (South Western) region, which includes the following municipalities:


  • City of Ballarat
  • City of Hindmarsh
  • Shire of West Wimmera
  • City of Horsham
  • Shire of Yarriambiack
  • Shire of Northern Grampians
  • Ararat Rural City
  • Shire of Hepburn
  • Pyrenees Shire Council
  • Shire of Moorabool
  • Golden Plains Shire

Glenelg (South Western)

  • Glenelg Shire Council
  • Southern Grampians Shire Council
  • Moyne Shire Council
  • City of Warrnambool
  • Shire of Corangamite North

This is a non-smoking facility.

How can you access this service?

Any person can make a referral to MaFU. Your GP, maternal and child health nurse, paediatrician, a family member or yourself.

All referrals are taken via the Access and Triage (A&T) service, which operates 24 hours a day, 365 days. An experienced clinician will take all details related to the referral and allocate a time frame in which the client will be seen by a community perinatal clinician. A full assessment will be undertaken and a treatment plan agreed. This may include an admission or community- based treatment.

ACCESS AND TRIAGE – 1300 247 647


Under Victorian Law, the Mother and Family Unit is a non-smoking environment. We will provide nicotine replacement therapies whilst an in-patient.

Mother & Family Unit (pre birth - 12 months)


28-34 Pleasant Street South
Ballarat VIC 3350


03 5320 8712

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