Legislative Council: Thursday, October 20, 2022


Urgent Mental Health Care Centre

The Hon. S.L. GAME (14:59): I seek leave to make a brief explanation before addressing a question to the Attorney-General, representing the Minister for Health and Wellbeing, on the Urgent Mental Health Care Centre.

Leave granted.

The Hon. S.L. GAME: This centre opened in 2021 and was in response to the more than 25,700 mental health presentations to Adelaide metropolitan emergency departments in 2020, a number that had been steadily growing for years. It provides alternative space for care for those experiencing a mental health crisis without referral 24 hours every day of the year, connecting people in crisis with both trained mental health professionals and people with lived experience. In many ways, it has been incredibly successful.

The two biggest barriers to this facility helping people are (1) that there is only one, located on Grenfell Street in the city and many people experiencing a severe mental health crisis are unable to travel what might be a significant distance to attend this specialist facility; and (2) that the community simply does not know about the Urgent Mental Health Care Centre.

I have personally asked many people in my social circle, members of the community and individuals who I meet through my position in parliament and I am yet to meet anyone outside of the mental health field who is actually aware of the centre. My questions to the Attorney-General representing the minister are:

1. What is the information dissemination and advertising strategy for the existing Urgent Mental Health Care clinic?

2. What is the time line on the new pending northern clinic run by the Sonder allied health group?

3. Since Labor has promised to take mental health care seriously, how many other urgent acute mental health drop-in centres is the Malinauskas government planning to open across South Australia?

The Hon. K.J. MAHER (Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, Attorney-General, Minister for Industrial Relations and Public Sector) (15:01): I thank the honourable member for her question and her interest in this area. I will refer her questions to the minister in another place and bring back a reply.