Mental health reform

South Australia is currently undertaking a major reform of its mental health systems to modernise and improve mental health services across the state.

In 2005 Premier Mike Rann asked the Social Inclusion Board to provide recommendations to improve the way services are delivered for people with a mental illness, their families and carers.

The Social Inclusion Board, under the leadership of Monsignor David Cappo, produced the report Stepping Up – A Social Inclusion Action Plan for Mental Health Reform 2007-2012 (PDF 753KB) outlining 41 recommendations that the State Government has committed to progressing.

The State Government has committed more than $300 million to the mental health reforms, which will deliver an estimated 86 additional adult beds across all levels of care by 2012-13.

Stepped model of care

At the heart of our reforms is a stepped model of care. Services will be available which allow people to ‘step-up’ to more intense health care if they are becoming unwell and 'step-down’ to other support services as they get better. The reform will ensure people have access to the appropriate level of support when they need it most and closer to where they live.  

The new model of care will provide more care alternatives as well as support to people in the first stages of developing a mental health illness before it gets to the stage where they need to go to hospital.

The new stepped system has graduated levels of care:

  • support in the community, including community mental health centres and care and support provided by non-government organisations
  • supported accommodation
  • community rehabilitation centres
  • intermediate care
  • acute care
  • secure care.

South Australia’s Mental Health and Wellbeing Policy (PDF 174KB) provides a vision for the future of mental health care in South Australia, outlining the key objectives, principles and broad strategies for the ongoing reform of the mental health care system into the next decade.

South Australian Mental Health Commission

The role of the SA Mental Health Commission (SAMHC) is to strengthen the mental wellbeing of South Australians and lead the development of South Australia’s five-year Mental Health Plan.

Postal Address: GPO Box 189 Rundle Mall SA 5000
Office Number: 1300 293 220
Fax Number: (08) 8226 5220

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