The Honourable Stephen Wade MLC, Health and Wellbeing Minister launched the new $14m Urgent Mental Health Care Centre (UMHCC) in Adelaide CBD on 3 March.
Supported by SA Health and the Australian Government, Neami will deliver this unique service in partnership with US non-profit RI International. The UMHCC is the first of its kind in Australia, with eight similar services planned across Australia as part of a pilot program.
Located in the Adelaide CBD, the UMHCC provides urgent care for South Australian’s experiencing a mental health crisis. The service offers individuals, families, police and ambulance an important alternative to presenting at hospital Emergency Departments for urgent mental health support. To access the service, people will initially need a referral from SA Ambulance Service, SA Police or SA Health’s Mental Health Triage service.
To support a graduated implementation, the UMHCC launches with a limited capacity and focus on facilitating referrals from SA Mental Health Triage, SA Ambulance and SA Police. Over the coming months, the service will scale to accommodate eighteen people at any one time and broaden to enable walk-in and community referrals.
The service is delivered by a multi-disciplinary Neami team of local peer support workers, medical officers, nurses and clinical staff, with a strong focus on staff with a lived experience of recovery. As an alternative to hospital admission, the UMHCC provides a very different experience to an emergency department, with a calm and welcoming environment, built on the ‘living room model’ that RI International has successfully implemented in cities across the US.
Neami CEO, Tom Dalton said, “The SA UMHCC is informed by an evidence-based model and from the outset will be tailored to the South Australian context and consumer needs. We will be working with people with a lived experience of recovery, in collaboration with support services and first-responders, which will build a foundation for successful outcomes for those with urgent mental health issues and those that work with them.”