Legislative Council: Tuesday, February 07, 2023


Acute Behavioural Assessment Units

In reply to the Hon. S.L. GAME ().8 September 2022).

The Hon. K.J. MAHER (Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, Attorney-General, Minister for Industrial Relations and Public Sector): The Minister for Health and Wellbeing has advised:

The South Australian Mental Health Services Plan 2020-25 considers the idea of acute behavioural assessment units (ABAU) and this is being explored in more detail.

Our government is investing $24.2 million to meet growing demand for extra rehabilitation and detox beds across the state, with a clear focus on boosting services in our regions. This investment includes:

20 additional community drug and alcohol rehabilitation beds across the state

12 extra rehabilitation beds in metropolitan Adelaide

four extra rehabilitation beds in Port Augusta

four extra rehabilitation beds in Mount Gambier

Two dedicated drug and alcohol detox beds at Mount Gambier Hospital. Specifically for medically managed treatment of inpatient withdrawal.

We also know how important early intervention and prevention is in breaking the cycle, which is why we're expanding vital services like Family Drug Support to help users before they require more acute care.

The issue of stigma for people with mental illness and substance abuse requires a combination of education, clinical guidelines, multidisciplinary teams, and emergency department spaces that support privacy and reduced waiting times. This work is supported with the Drug and Alcohol Services SA (DASSA) working in partnership across the LHN's.

DASSA work jointly with general psychiatry providing education sessions in both Adelaide University and Flinders University. This work focuses on alcohol and other drug treatment approaches with the students attending these sessions.

Clinical liaison services operate across the three tertiary hospitals providing clinical input across inpatients services and the emergency departments for people with substance use issues.

Co-morbidity clinicians with both substance use and mental health skills have been employed in SALHN, NALHN and CALHN and provide support between hospital and community services.

We commit to an ongoing partnership between state government drug and alcohol services, the non-government sector, and Federal Government services to address key issues of demand management, shared care, and developing meaningful ways to measure service outcomes.