​Many people present to Emergency Departments experiencing suicidal thinking, unsure of where else to go and especially after hours. However, Emergency Departments are not the most suitable environments for people experiencing mental distress.

This initiative will deliver twenty new services across the state that provide an alternative to presenting to an emergency department during times of crisis. At the alternative location, nearby to the Emergency Department, people experiencing suicidal crisis or distress can be rapidly provided with compassionate care from suicide prevention peer workers, mental health clinicians and receive help and support to receive appropriate services.

These services will be derived from the United Kingdom’s Safe Haven café model that has shown a 33 per cent reduction in admissions to mental health inpatient units in their catchments. Safe Havens provide a safe, nonmedical space staffed by peer support workers and other professionals. The Safe Haven model is also being trialled at St Vincent’s Hospital in Melbourne, Victoria. In addition to the Safe Haven model, local health districts have received advice from the other crisis stabilisation centres including the Crisis Now model from Arizona, USA, and peer based support models such as Eclipse and Off the Wall.

The twenty new services will be delivered across NSW with local health districts working with people with lived experience of suicide to co-design local models.

Resources for health professionals

Further reading

  • Safe Haven Café in Aldershot, United Kingdom: This year round café provides an evening drop in service where people can go if the need support. From mental health professionals. This Safe Haven model used by the NHS in Aldershot, UK was first established in 2014 and provides a foundation for future Safe Havens, based on a reduction of mental health hospital admissions.This year round café provides an evening drop in service where people can go if the need support. From mental health professionals. This Safe Haven model used by the NHS in Aldershot, UK was first established in 2014 and provides a foundation for future Safe Havens, based on a reduction of mental health hospital admissions.
  • St Vincent’s Safe Haven Café, Melbourne: A Safe Haven Café established in Fitzroy, Victoria catering specifically for people seeking mental health support. This Safe Haven is based on the UK model. A Safe Haven Café established in Fitzroy, Victoria catering specifically for people seeking mental health support. This Safe Haven is based on the UK model. ​​​​​​​​​​​​​

Alternatives to Emergency Department Presentations - Crisis Now 

Transcript: Alternatives to Emergency Department Presentations: Crisis Now - 2 December 2019 
 

Information session on Towards Zero Suicides - peer workforce

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Transcript: Information session on Towards Zero Suicides peer workforce​​ ​​​​​​​
Current as at: Tuesday 29 September 2020
Contact page owner: Mental Health Branch