A founding member of the Friends of Nolan House has called for the facility to be renamed to something less 'institutional'.
Paul Summerfield, whose relative has been in and out of Nolan House for 20 years, said historically it was a horrible place, and for many people the name still held those connotations.
With attitudes towards mental health, and the nature of treatment changing in the past two decades, Mr Summerfield said it was time for the name to change too.
"Back then Nolan House was a pen to pen people up in and medicate them, not a healing facility," he said. "We’ve started to look at these places differently."
Mr Summerfield said historically many of the people admitted to Nolan House had been there before and often could not look past their previous experiences.
He said in the two decades he's been visiting Nolan House with his relative, the facility had improved greatly and it would be more fitting now if the name focused on healing and wellness rather than evoking images of dominate institutions.
"The name Nolan House send shivers down spines of those who frequent as patients," he said. "They’ve often already had a bad experience there and it’s also that very old-fashioned institutionalised name… the name makes it seem almost a bit sinister or intimidating."
Mr Summerfield said it was important politicians like NSW Liberal candidate Justin Clancy and Labor candidate Lauriston Muirhead, who attended the Friends of Nolan House meeting on Tuesday night, understood the cost of mental health does not start and end in their budget ledgers.
"Mental health costs the government a lot of money to try and sort out but it costs the community a whole lot more," he said. "It costs money to families people who are sick, it costs money to the legal system where these people fall back into criminal activities.
"[Mental illness] destroys families, it destroys businesses, it destroys marriages, it destroys lives and it’s not not just the lives of the people in Nolan House.
"It’s the people surrounding them who love them and try their best to look after them and when it fails their whole life falls apart as well."
Mr Summerfield said there needed to be a real focus on getting the mental health system right so people could be treated effectively early and not end up in and out of facilities for decades.