Australian-first mental health care

Lisa Thurin Women’s Health Centre at Cabrini Elsternwick is Australia’s first private, voluntary women’s-only mental health hospital offering specialised treatments designed to improve women’s mental health.

The Lisa Thurin Women’s Health Centre, which opened in September last year, is an innovative

new approach to psychiatric care for women with mental ill health.

Cabrini Elsternwick is a contemporary women’s mental health facility – the first of its kind in

Australia and most of the western world – and hopes to become a prototype for subsequent services for women.

The clinic offers targeted treatments for improving women’s mental health, including a short-stay program supported with intensive day programs, telehealth services and community support.

Cabrini Women’s Mental Health service team includes specialist psychiatrists, clinical psychologists, nurses, allied health staff and special therapists – all with expertise and experience in providing world-class tailored health care for women living with mental ill health.

Cabrini has also developed an innovative biopsychosocial package of care that provides holistic treatments specially designed to optimise outcomes for women seeking treatment.

Comprehensive assessment and treatments are provided for women with mood disorders, anxiety, complex trauma including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and addiction.

At the centre, women stay seven to 10 days as an inpatient and are then supported by Cabrini staff in transitioning to their home setting.

Women who stay at the facility have their own private, modern room with an ensuite, access to an integrated open plan living and dining area, and receive a personalised, intensive program of therapies.

The facility provides specialised inpatient psychosocial treatment programs and individualised treatment strategies in a private, secure, sensitive and empowering setting.

Innovative treatments include hormone strategies where appropriate, transcranial magnetic stimulation and individually tailored medications combined with state-of-the-art therapies.

Inpatient programs consist of several core programs that all women attend, as well as specific specialised programs, which are tailored to women within each diagnostic illness.

Group therapy programs include empowerment feminist therapy, sensory therapeutic engagement, art, music and pet therapy, SMART recovery and mindfulness.

Individualised one-on-one therapy includes psychoeducation to learn about symptoms, stress-vulnerability and treatment options, interpersonal psychotherapy, brief dynamic psychotherapy, and marital and family therapy, which is based on each patient’s needs.

Psychoeducation groups provide general principles about the understanding of mental ill health in women using a biopsychosocial framework, which is delivered on mood disorders, PTSD and SUD.

These sessions also permit attendance by family members and other nominated support people for inpatients.

The focus of Cabrini’s community support program is to assist women to continue working on their recovery, where they are taught to develop and utilise coping strategies to maintain their mental wellbeing after their inpatient stay.

Clients receive home visits from staff and have the option to receive visits and support from volunteers for social activities.

To learn more about the services on offer at Cabrini Elsternwick’s Lisa Thurin Women’s Health Centre (located at 2-6 Hopetoun Street, Elsternwick), call 9508 5100 or visit