26 September 2023

Mental health partnership to boost service

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People across the State are to have access to more mental health and suicide prevention support as South Australia signs a five-year deal with the Commonwealth.

Announcing the landmark agreement, Premier Steven Marshall said the deal would increase the mental health workforce, establish new mental health centres for adults and First Nations people and reduce pressure on hospital emergency departments.

Mr Marshall said the bilateral agreement, part of the National Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Agreement, would establish a network of Adult Mental Health Centres (Head to Health) in Northern Adelaide and Mount Barker, to be co-located with new State-funded services, including a Crisis Stabilisation Centre and two additional Head to Health satellite centres.

He said a new Aboriginal Mental Health and Wellbeing Centre is to be established to address gaps in the mental health system to provide culturally appropriate and more integrated mental health and suicide prevention services to Aboriginal people.

Mr Marshall said one new headspace centre would be established, while existing headspace centres would be enhanced to increase access to multidisciplinary youth mental health services.

He said an Initial Assessment and Referral Tool and National phone/digital intake service would be put in place to support consistent intake and referral integration across the mental health and suicide prevention system.

The Premier said there would be greater data sharing and evaluation of services, closer integration of referral pathways, and collaboration on the regional planning and commissioning of services.

Mr Marshall said the bilateral agreement would also build and support the mental health and suicide prevention workforce, including the peer workforce.

“Providing more support and care services to people struggling with their mental health will alleviate the pressure on our Emergency Departments and allow people to access mental health care in a more appropriate environment,” he said.

“Care will be delivered by multidisciplinary teams consisting of psychiatrists, general practitioners, psychologists, alcohol and drug specialists, mental health nurses, social workers, occupational therapists, mental health workers and lived experience workers.”

Anyone experiencing distress can also seek immediate advice and support through Lifeline (13 11 14), Kids Helpline (1800 55 1800), or the Government’s digital mental health gateway, Head to Health.

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