New service to provide urgent care for South Australian’s experiencing a mental health crisis

11 September 2020
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Neami National is delighted that South Australians will soon have access to an innovative Urgent Mental Health Care Centre (UMHCC) funded through SA Health.

Funded through SA Health and with the support of our ‘thought partners’ RI International, the UMHCC will provide a warm and welcoming service for people in mental health crisis. A collaborative design process will shape the new service, drawing from lived experience, local expertise and internationally leading best practice and research.

Located close to the Royal Adelaide Hospital, the UMHCC will operate 365 days a year, from 12pm to 12am. The service will offer an important alternative for individuals, families, police and ambulance to presenting at hospital Emergency Departments for mental health support.

The service will be 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.

Neami CEO, Tom Dalton said, “The SA UMHCC is informed by an evidence-based model and from the onset 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.”

Set to launch by the end of the year, initial referrals will come from SA Health triage teams and first-responders. The paths to referral will then broaden to include community-services, primary health and a walk-in service by early 2021.

RI International (RII), a US-based not for profit organisation, is well known to many in the Mental Health sector through their regular visits to Australia where they have shared their research and insights in crisis intervention and peer-led recovery models. RII will support the service as a thought-partner and provide guidance, training, research and quality assurance.

Tom Dalton said “This close working relationship between the two not for profit agencies will contribute to the success of the UMHCC and feed into the growing local and  international body of research into successful crisis intervention models.”

Jamie Sellar, RII Chief Strategy Officer says “RI International is proud to partner with Neami to deliver a necessary service to the people of South Australia. As a mission-driven, not for profit agency, RI International creates opportunities and environments that empower people to recover.

With Neami as the provider of service and our role in providing access to research, training and quality support, we are confident that the UMHCC will be successful in supporting people to accomplish their goals, and to reconnect to themselves, others, and to meaning and purpose in life.”


About Neami National

Neami National is a community-based organisation providing mental health, homelessness and suicide prevention services. Using a recovery approach, Neami supports people to improve their wellbeing, live independently and pursue a meaningful life. Neami supports over 9,000 Australians each year in their recovery and has been doing so for over 30 years.

About RI International

RI International is a global organisation with more than 50 programs throughout the United States and abroad, provides Crisis, Health, Recovery and Consulting services, wherein our values and priorities include: maintaining a recovery culture, ensuring clinical best practices, making safety a priority for all, measuring value and results, optimising quality and compliance, and serving as a key resource for First Responders.