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The Women’s and Children’s Health Network acknowledges Aboriginal people as the First Peoples and Traditional Custodians of Country throughout South Australia. We acknowledge and respect their ongoing and deep spiritual connection and relationship to land, air, sea, waters, community and country. We pay our respect to their Elders past, present and emerging.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people should be aware that this website may contain images, voices and names of people who have passed away.

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.

On arrival at Emergency Department

On arrival at the Emergency Department (ED), one of our highly trained triage nurses will have a brief chat with you. We encourage you to share how you are feeling, and any other reasons why you needed to come to the hospital. This helps the ED team know how to best care for you in the hospital. Depending on the reasons you came to the ED, you may also need to see the medical staff.

You may then be referred to the CAMHS Emergency Mental Health team. If you’re under 16 years old, your parent(s) or carer(s) will usually be invited to join you for part of this meeting.

If you wish to leave the ED prior to the assessment being 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 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.)
  • Looking to support you in the least restrictive way possible: helping to 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 for you and your family.

Once the assessment is completed, our team will come up with a plan with you and your family/carers. This will include developing a safety plan to help you and your family know how to keep you and/or 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, any follow up provided will also 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:

  • Admission to hospital
  • Referral to a specialist mental health team (CAMHS, Youth Mental Health)
  • 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).


The Emergency Mental Health team can be contacted through WCH switchboard on 8161 7000.

If you wish to provide feedback, please contact 8161 6710 or

The full range of CAMHS services can be viewed on the CAMHS webpage.

Further information

  • For any life-threatening emergencies, please call 000 (triple zero).
  • If you are experiencing a personal crisis, you can also contact Lifeline by calling 13 11 14, texting 0477 13 11 14 or via Online Chat.