New Medicare Mental Health Centre To Open In Elizabeth

Department of Health

South Australians living in the northern suburbs now have access to free, walk-in mental health support with a new Medicare Mental Health Centre in Elizabeth opening officially today.

This will be complemented by a 16-bed, $20.9 million Crisis Stabilisation Centre, funded by the South Australian Government, that will provide short-stay support for up to three nights for people in Adelaide’s northern suburbs experiencing distress.

The new Medicare Mental Health Centre is a safe and welcoming place for the Elizabeth community and surrounding suburbs to get on-the-spot care and support.

Open seven days a week, over extended hours, people can receive free mental health care support with no appointment or referral needed.

Medicare Mental Health Centres are building on the established Head to Health network with a $29.9 million investment to lift capacity for each centre to provide free access to a psychologist or psychiatrist on call.

The Albanese Government is rolling out 61 Medicare Mental Health Centres across the country, including three across South Australia.

The new centre is co-funded by the Albanese Government and South Australian Government as part of the mental health bilateral agreement that will deliver $92.1 million over five years to provide mental health supports in South Australia.

More than $14 million in funding over four years has been provided to the Adelaide Primary Health Network to commission the centre, which is operated by Sonder.

The service will operate from an interim location in Elizabeth until the permanent site adjacent to the Lyell McEwin Hospital is complete.

At that time, the new Medicare Mental Health Centre will be co-located with the 16-bed Crisis Stabilisation Centre that includes both drop-in and booked services.

The upper level of the Crisis Stabilisation Centre will feature 16 beds including two accessible rooms, counselling rooms, a family lounge, and communal social areas including a balcony, lounges, kitchen and dining space.

The centre is custom designed to be comfortable and homelike, providing a therapeutic environment for people to get the mental health care they need, while reducing pressure on busy emergency departments.

It will offer access to lived experience peer workers who can provide specialised compassionate and understanding support during challenging times, together with a team of psychologists, social workers, occupational therapists, doctors, nurses and cultural workers.

Construction is scheduled to start in late 2024. The consultation period on the early concept designs – which can be viewed here – closes on Wednesday, June 26.

Quotes attributable to Minister Butler:

“As part of the Government’s commitment to strengthening Medicare, we have allocated almost $30 million in this year’s Budget to deliver more Medicare Mental Health Centres.

“People in the northern suburbs deserve mental health care closer to home and our Government is committed to providing better access to that crucial care and support.

“I look forward to continuing our work with the Malinauskas Government to create better access to affordable mental health care.”

Quotes attributed to Assistant Minister, Emma McBride:

“We’re committed to every Australian, no matter where they live, can access quality mental health care.

“Mental health is just as important as physical health, that’s why we’re opening 61 Medicare Mental Centres across the country, offering free, walk-in mental health support and care.

“The new Elizabeth Medicare Mental Health Centre will provide greater access to support and care for the northern suburbs community of South Australia.”

Quotes attributable to Minister Picton:

“We know that an Emergency Department isn’t always the most appropriate place for someone experiencing challenges with their mental health.

“That is why it’s important to have services like the Medicare Mental Health Centres and our new $20.9 million state-funded Crisis Stabilisation Centre available to provide support when it’s most needed.

“While these new services will increase access to mental health support for residents in Adelaide’s North, the Malinauskas Government is proud to partner with the Albanese Government to improve the mental health and wellbeing of all South Australians.”

Quotes attributable to Matt Burnell MP, Member for Spence:

“This Medicare Mental Health Centre is a welcome addition to the health care services available in our community.

“I have been listening to the needs of my community, and they’ve expressed a desire for accessible and compassionate mental health care in the North, the Albanese Labor Government is delivering on this.

“This new centre means those in our community struggling with mental health have a place to turn. It builds on our recent announcement for a new Headspace Centre at Gawler and demonstrates Labor’s commitment to providing real investment in the wellbeing of our local northern community.”

/Media Release. View in full here.