New move for The Kidman Centre UTS
The Kidman Centre UTS specialist youth mental health treatment and research unit has a new purpose-built base in Randwick, where its co-location with other organisations and services will enhance opportunities for collaboration to improve mental health treatment outcomes. The new clinic offers a range of treatment services for children, young people and their families in a warm, child-friendly environment.
The Kidman Centre UTS – formerly known as the Health Psychology Unit UTS – has relocated its primary facility from Greenwich in Sydney’s north, to Randwick in the east, occupying a large section of the tenth floor of the historic Parkes building within the Prince of Wales Hospital.
The new space has been purpose-built for psychologists to deliver preventative mental health workshops, and evidence-based treatment and research clinics.
The Centre also has a community clinic that is open to the general public, and it will continue to service families on Sydney’s north side through a small clinic located in Crows Nest.
“Being a part of the vibrant Randwick Health and Education Precinct makes our services more accessible to families living in Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs and, importantly, our proximity to other health, education, research and community services in the area will help facilitate opportunities for greater collaboration and partnership,” says Director of The Kidman Centre UTS, Dr Rachael Murrihy.
Neighbouring specialist services include the Black Dog Institute, Karitane, Neuroscience Research Australia (NeuRA), the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS), and UNSW’s Parent-Child Research Clinic.
Approximately 500m2 of space within an upper-level of the historic Parkes building was stripped-out and refurbished to create the new facility. Construction began last October and was completed in January, allowing The Kidman Centre UTS staff to relocate to their new base earlier this year.
The space is a mix of consulting rooms, meeting rooms, offices, and light-filled reception and waiting areas to provide a warm and comfortable welcome to visitors of the Centre.
“When designing the space, it was important to us that people feel an immediate sense of calm when they walk through the door, like they have entered a haven from the outside world.”
“For children, we wanted to make sure they have plenty of space to relax and some fun things to do while they wait, and it’s been great to see kids go straight to the giant Connect Four and Jenga games ahead of their mobile phones.”
The clinic and office spaces are far-removed from a traditional clinical setting, which was the intent of project architects MODE.
“The design is based on studies of best-practice environments for young mental health patients,” explains Senior Interior Designer Heidi Aboushady. “We transformed the space to create a stimulating and stress-free environment.
“Natural light has been enhanced throughout the rooms and passageways using low-height walls, frosted glass and light-coloured furnishings. The waiting area is divided into two zones, with the area for young patients including colourful furniture and a play area to allow interaction.”
“Consulting room ceilings have been lowered in relation to the corridors, to create a more focused area for patient interaction. The rooms have also been enhanced with acoustic treatment to isolate each space and minimise disruption, while furniture has been intentionally placed to enhance patient-doctor interaction while promoting privacy.”
According to Dr Murrihy, the small details have a big impact on the comfort and wellbeing of all who visit the Centre.