Emergency Mental Health Services
Our Emergency Mental Health team is led by a group of specialist mental health staff who can provide help to you through a mental health crisis and connect you with the appropriate service for ongoing support.
Before coming to the Emergency Department
Our Paediatric Emergency Department is focused on the triage, assessment, stabilisation and management of children and young people who are experiencing an illness or injury that requires immediate attention. Before coming to the Emergency Department for mental health care, please consider these support options as the first point of support:
- If the young person is aged between 16 to 18 years, please contact the NEAMI ‘Urgent Mental Health Service’ based at 215 Grenfell Street, Adelaide, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
- If the young person is under the age of 16 years, please consider contacting your General Practitioner (if able) for assessment and support
On arrival at the Emergency Department
On your arrival at the Emergency Department , one of our highly trained triage nurses will have a brief chat with you and your child or young person. We encourage you to share how you are feeling, and any other reasons why you needed to come to the hospital. This helps the team know how to best care for you in the hospital. Depending on your reasons, you may also need to see the medical staff.
You may then be referred to the CAMHS Emergency Mental Health team if indicated. If you’re under 16 years old, your parent or carer will usually be invited to join you for part of this discussion.
If you wish to leave the hospital before the assessment has been completed, we kindly ask that you let the triage nurse know so they can make sure that this is a safe option for you.
Mental health assessment
During the assessment, it is important that you let the team know the how you are feeling and any other concerns you have.
The Emergency Mental Health team will consider:
- What is happening for you today and what may have led to this situation
- How best to support you and your family
- Information about your life (family, home, school, etc.)
- How to support you in the least restrictive way possible. Our aim is to help keep you and others safe while maintaining your connection with everyday life, including family and school as much as possible
- Maintaining your best interests – clinical decisions about hospital or community treatment are developed around your best interests and what is likely to work best for you and your family.
Once the assessment is completed, our team will come up with a plan with you and your family or carer. This may include developing a safety plan to help you and your family know how to keep you and others safe.
We will record the details of your presentation in your clinical record and will talk to you about sharing it with any services that will be involved in supporting you.
Because everyone’s circumstances are different, follow up will vary. It will consider many things including the difficulties you presented with and the level of support available to you in the community.
A plan for follow up may include:
- Referral to another non-government community mental health service (Headspace, private psychology, etc.)
- Involvement of other key services (e.g. drug and alcohol support, social work, school or educational support).
- Referral to a specialist mental health team (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS), Youth Mental Health)
- Admission to hospital