Plans for Scotland’s first secure mental health unit for youngsters to be housed in Irvine are starting to take shape with an outline design for how the unit will look now finalised.

This new development of the National Secure Adolescent Inpatient Service (NSAIS) will provide the first ever secure adolescent inpatient service for young people in Scotland.

This will prevent young people who suffer severe mental health problems being placed far away from their families. 

A public group has been formed to oversee the project, which meets approximately every two months, with interested residents welcome to attend.

As the new unit will provide a service for the whole of Scotland, anyone living in Scotland can take part in these groups.

Video conference facilities are available for those living a distance away which prevents them from taking part in meetings in person.

As part of the Public and Patient Reference Group, members are asked to share information with the community, assist in the development process and report to the Project Board.

Thelma Bowers, Head of Mental Health Services, said: “This unit is a first for Scotland. We are excited about the possibilities of purpose building a unit for some of our most vulnerable young people. It is vital that we include a cross section of our society to ensure that we are going to provide the best possible building and service that we can.”

Irvine’s MP Dr Philippa Whitford said: “From a healthcare perspective, this is very specialised work and I welcome the decision to build a dedicated facility in Scotland and to co-locate it beside the award winning mental health facility at Woodland View.

“This will be hugely beneficial for both patients and their families, who won’t have to travel such long distances for visits.”

The next Public and Patient Reference Group meeting is on Tuesday, February 5 at 6.30pm in Woodland View, Ayrshire Central Hospital.

If interested contact Carol Craig via or 01563 826152 to book your place or to arrange videoconferen cing facilities.