We currently have precautionary measures in place to protect our patients and staff. Read more

Media Contacts

For media enquiries or to request one of our Doctors as a spokesperson, please contact Cabrini’s media team on:


M: 0436 928 801

Cabrini’s pioneering program reshapes mental health care for Australian women


Melbourne, Australia – Not-for-profit private health service Cabrini Health, proudly announces that its trailblazing mental health care program has now treated 1,000 women and is leading the charge to reshape the landscape of mental health support for females nationwide.

As the first women-only mental health facility in Australia, Cabrini’s Lisa Thurin Women’s Health Centre in Elsternwick offers gender-sensitive, acute care for conditions such as PTSD, burn-out, mood disorders and addiction. A significant 70% of its patients have experienced trauma from domestic violence.

Since its inception in late 2021, the Centre has provided specialised support offering unique, evidence-based treatment programs that continue to result in strong patient outcomes. Approximately 88% of all patients have not needed to be re-admitted and gone on to improve their mental health and their lives as a result.

Due to its success, Cabrini’s program has now garnered attention nationwide, with other health institutions replicating the model. Founding Medical Director of the Lisa Thurin Women’s Health Centre, Professor Jayashri Kulkarni AM, said the Centre had received multiple visitors from public and private health institutions across Australia looking to learn from the model of care.

“The current state of Australia’s mental health care system is gender-blind. There is urgent need for gender-specific approaches, especially around the domestic violence crisis. Women are mostly provided generic care that does not adequately support their unique needs,” says Prof Kulkarni.

Prof Kulkarni warned that many women are too scared to seek help: “All too often, vulnerable domestic violence victims seeking help are treated alongside men, which can be very triggering for them and counterproductive.

“If left untreated, domestic violence trauma causes significant and long-lasting mental ill health, and women will not be able to be able to function independently,” she said.
While the narrative around domestic violence has focused on prevention, enhancing police powers, and advocacy efforts, the long-term mental health impact on women cannot be overlooked. Cabrini’s unique model of care addresses this critical gap, treating the specific trauma issues women face.

Sharon Sherwood, Cabrini’s Chief of Mental Health and Outreach, said: “Our facility empowers women to achieve lasting well-being without the limitations often found in traditional mental health systems.”

The model has a recommended length of stay between 7-10 days followed by a community program offering a range of therapies and group sessions. Approximately 80% of patients choose to engage with the Centre’s community program which is designed to ensure women have the strength and resources to move forward positively and independently.

Unlike other private mental health facilities, Cabrini’s service can be accessed via GP referral (no psychiatrist appointment required) and this month Cabrini also expanded its day program to the wider community. Dr Lisa Albert has been appointed as the new clinical director.

“The extension of our day program to the community is facilitating greater accessibility and aiding women in initiating their journey towards recovery and healing,” said Sherwood.

“Under the leadership of Dr Albert, whose exceptional expertise and dedication to holistic care align perfectly with our vision, we are confident in our ability to foster healing and well-being,” Sherwood added.

As the nation grapples with the ongoing domestic violence crisis, the Centre stands as a shining example of the transformative power of comprehensive, compassionate, and empowering mental health care for women. By prioritising the long-term well-being of survivors, Cabrini is not only healing individuals but also paving the way for a more equitable and just future for all Australian women.

– Ends –

For media inquiries, please contact:
Lisa Webbe
Communications and Media Manager
M: 0436 928 801