Dandenong cancer and chronically ill patients will receive better mental health support thanks to $1.71 million funding to strengthen its consultant liaison psychiatric service, which provides mental health care for patients admitted to general hospital wards.

Many patients need support while in hospital dealing with the impact of their illnesses or injuries, especially patients with cancer, terminal illness, chronic illness or pain.

Minister for Mental Health Martin Foley made the announcement this morning at Royal Melbourne Hospital.

Minister Foley also announced $5.47 million to improve 21 mental health and alcohol and other drug rehabilitation facilities across Melbourne.

This includes Caraniche in Dandenong who will receive funding for additional security measures to manage high risk offenders. Windana Drug and Alcohol Recovery will also receive funding to upgrade outdoor amenity and install a new BBQ area at its Youth Community House in Dandenong.

The Facilities Renewal Grants will help existing mental health and alcohol and other drug services to improve their facilities for consumers, carers, visitors and staff.

They enable services to tackle critical minor infrastructure and capital works, to ensure they meet contemporary standards regarding physical amenity, space and safety.

Examples of projects funded in the grants include installing a duress alarm system at Normanby House at St George’s Hospital, upgrading air-conditioning at Caulfield Hospital, refurbishing bathrooms in the Community Care Unit at Frankston Hospital, and upgrading the treatment room at Broadmeadows Acute Mental Health Aged Care Unit.