South Australia has opened the country’s first adult mental health centre in Adelaide’s CBD.
The $14m centre offers a variety of services every day from midday to midnight, accommodating up to 6 patients at a time as of now, with plans for a maximum of 18 patients by May.
Adelaide’s mental health facility is the first of eight to be opened under a $114.5 million trial funded by the Australian Government.
In South Australia, there were more than 25,700 mental health presentations to emergency departments in metropolitan Adelaide last year. SA Premier Steven Marshall says the Urgent Mental Health Care Centre will not only help patients, but it will also alleviate stress on emergency medical personnel.
“It will help thousands of patients needing support and medical assistance in times of crisis,” Marshall says.
“Importantly, the centre will reduce pressure on other hospital emergency apartments.”
Minister for Health Greg Hunt says this announcement is particularly important after this past year.
“The past year has been challenging for all Australians; The pandemic has led to many people seeking support for their mental health for the first time,” he says.
“Making sure that help is easily accessible and with a welcoming door for people in distress is the aim.”
The centre will initially be open to referrals from SA Ambulance Service, SA Police and the emergency mental health phone line (13 14 65), but over time, the centre will expand to accept walk-in presentations and community referrals.
The seven other centres funded by the Australian government are expected to open by the end of next year.
The UMHCC is located at 215 Grenfell Street.