Groundwork is being laid for the ambitious plan to transform an abandoned Wagga monastery into a medical hub for veterans and emergency services workers.
The Pro Patria Centre is awaiting the outcome of a development application seeking to change the use of the Carmelite Monastery they began leasing last year.
Works including the widening of doorways and installation of access ramps are also being proposed to prepare the building for the potential introduction of services sometime in the next few months.
The centre is hoping to provide multiple unique therapies for the treatment of acute and chronic conditions, such as post traumatic stress disorder.
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One wing of the monastery will house a transcranial magnetic stimulation ward used to treat depression while the other wing will be home to a hyperbaric oxygen therapy chamber.
There are plans for a rural GP to set up shop at the centre and deliver the federal government's Coordinated Veteran's Care program and the Pro Patria board is also looking to have trained psychiatrists operating out of the building.
Pro Patria board member and Wagga Defence Shed president Jason Frost said having these services in the Riverina will be a gamechanger for local veterans.
"It would improve their lives substantially there is no doubt about that," Mr Frost said. "By bringing all of this here we're making it so they don't need to go off to a bunch of different specialist services."
Mr Frost is hoping the centre will bring the alternative medical treatments into the limelight and pave improvements to how veterans' mental health issues are treated in Australia.
He wants to get universities and primary health networks involved, collecting data on the results of the treatments.
"The proof will be in the pudding - we'll be able to provide the evidence that it's working on an individual level and show categorically what's working and what isn't," he said.
"There has to be changes to how we treat these things because clearly what we're doing at the moment isn't working."
The initial works are expected to cost over $50,000 and will take place once the development application is approved by council.
Mr Frost is hoping to have the first services up and running early next year.
The centre will also provide multiple community-based activities for veterans and their families such as cooking and gardening programs.
The facility is seeking donations from the community and the government to assist the project.
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