Neami National named lead provider of Head to Health service across Australia

06 November 2021
Head to Health icon
Neami National is currently in the midst of establishing four Head to Health services in Townsville, Penrith, Darwin and Geelong.

Neami has been appointed lead provider in all four centres by the respective regional Primary Health Networks.  Neami is also lead provider at the Urgent Mental Health Care Centre (UMHCC), a Head to Health Centre in Adelaide, which opened in March 2021.

Head to Health services are federally funded adult mental health centres, which aim to provide a welcoming environment with clinical and peer support, for people who are experiencing distress or crisis.

Through a co-design process, each Head to Health service is tailored to the needs of the local community and offers a combination of peer-led and clinical support. With a mix of lived experience, wellbeing and clinical staff, each service will provide immediate support for people experiencing distress and help to develop a plan for the future.

The service model was developed by a national expert advisory group though co-design that included people with a lived experience of mental health challenges.

The Head to Health services are four of eight being trialled across Australia. These trial sites are among the first in a network of 32 sites funded by $487.2 million that formed part of the $2.3 billion National Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan announced in the 2021-22 Budget.

Neami CEO Tom Dalton said the organisation was excited to be working with the Primary Health Networks and other partners to deliver a new safe, welcoming and inclusive mental health support service in these communities.

“Co-designed with people with a lived experience of recovery, carers and family, First Nations people, mental health professionals, support services and first-responders, we are ensuring that the services respond to and deliver what the community needs,” Mr Dalton said.

“At least half of the Head to Health staff at each service will be in dedicated lived experience roles, providing unique and caring support from arrival to when someone is ready to leave.

“Building on Neami National’s long history of continuity of support across the clinical and community-based spectrum, the service will integrate with existing formal and informal supports and, if needed, connect with the right support for later.”

Darwin update:

  • Darwin Head to Health will be delivered in partnership with Larrakia Nation and supported by Northern Territory PHN
  • Co-design sessions informed the design of the service including the philosophy of care.
  • The centre will be located in the suburb of Casuarina, with a property secured and building fit-out started.
  • The service is expected to open in December 2021.

Penrith update:

  • Penrith Head to Health is supported by the Nepean Blue Mountains PHN.
  • Rapid service design and establishment phase carried out from June to September 2021.
  • Co-design sessions have concluded.
  • Building fit-out began in late October 2021 with the centre expected to open in December 2021. 

Townsville update:

  • Townsville Head to Health will be delivered in partnership with Richmond Fellowship Queensland, Lives Lived Well, Townsville Multicultural Support Group and supported by Northern Queensland PHN.
  • Town hall information session held on 22 October to inform the community and invite them to get involved.
  • Co-design sessions started on 9 November. People with a lived experience of mental health challenges, their families and carers, as well as those who work in or are connected with first-responders, primary health or community services are taking part.

Geelong update:

  • Geelong Head to Health is delivered in partnership with Drummond Street and supported by Western Victoria PHN.
  • The Head to Health Centre will be located in the northern suburb of Corio.
  • Neami is currently in the process of finalising a suitable property for the centre.
  • We are running a series of information sessions to support the conversation with the community as we co-design the new Geelong Head to Health.


  • The Adelaide Urgent Mental Health Care Centre (UMHCC) is now open.