Mental Health Services

Mental Health Services

Most people access mental health services through their general practitioner or primary care provider, but some people who are seriously affected by their illness can be referred to, or make contact with a specialist mental health service provided by ACT Health.

Generally the impact or severity of a person’s condition, rather than a specific diagnosis, triggers access to these specialist mental health services.

Mental Health Services in the ACT provide a number of programs within the hospital and community settings and aim to support people throughout all life stages including Children, Adolescents, Adults and Older Persons.

ACT Health works in collaboration with non-clinical services provided by the community sector. These non-clinical services focus on activities and programs that further support people to manage their own recovery and maximise their participation in community life.

Our services aim to provide a recovery focused approach to clinical care guided by the following principles:

  • Taking a strengths based approach which supports a sense of hope and optimism
  • Recognising that a person’s recovery journey is an individual experience influenced by life events, circumstance and background
  • Promoting inclusion, equality and collaboration
  • Acknowledging people as experts in their own experience
  • Understanding that empowerment is key to wellness and recovery

Adult Mental Health Services

Adult Mental Health Unit (AMHU)

The Adult Acute Mental Health Unit (AMHU) is a 37 bed public mental health inpatient unit at the Canberra Hospital. The AMHU provides a safe and comfortable environment for people receiving both voluntary and involuntary care for acute mental illness or disorder. The AMHU provides brief individualised care which supports people to safely return back to their community setting. The AMHU can be contacted 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Visiting Hours:
Monday to Friday: 12:30pm – 1:30pm
4:00pm - 8:00pm
Weekends and Public Holidays: 9:00am - 8:00pm
  • (02) 6244 2222 - Canberra Hospital
  • (02) 6174 5454 - Canberra Hospital, Building 25

Welcome to the AMHU (June 2016)

Mental Health Short Stay Unit (MHSSU)

The Mental Health Short Say Unit (MHSSU) is a 6 bed public mental health inpatient unit within the Canberra Hospital. The MHSSU is adjacent to the Emergency Department (ED) and provides opportunity for voluntary and involuntary admission for up to 48 hours. Admissions to this unit are generally for the purposes of extended assessment and treatment initiation for people presenting to the ED who may be experiencing mental health crisis or an exacerbation of their mental illness or disorder.

Visiting Hours:
Monday to Friday: 12:30pm – 1:30pm
4:00pm - 8:00pm
Weekends and Public Holidays: 9:00am - 8:00pm
  • (02) 6244 2222 - Canberra Hospital
  • (02) 6174 5670 - Canberra Hospital, Building 3

Mental Health Consultation Liaison (MHCL)

The Mental Health Consultation Liaison Service (MHCL) provides an integrated, acute mental health service within the Emergency Department, and General and Medical wards of the Canberra Hospital. The Mental Health Consultation Liaison Service provides specialist mental health assessment and treatment services through a multi-disciplinary team.

  • (02) 6244 2222 - Canberra Hospital

Adult Community Mental Health Teams

Adult community mental health teams are multidisciplinary and provide mental health assessment, treatment, clinical management, crisis management, family support and referral pathways for people with mental health issues. The teams operate during business hours and referrals are received from a range of sources, including individuals, their families, GP’s or community organisations.

Belconnen Mental Health Team

  • (02) 6205 1110
  • Belconnen Community Health Centre, 56 Lathlain St, Belconnen ACT 2617

City Mental Health Team

  • (02) 6205 1338
  • City Community Health Centre, 1 Moore Street Canberra City ACT 2600 (On the corner of Moore Street and Alinga Street)

Tuggeranong Mental Health Team

  • (02) 6205 2777
  • Tuggeranong Community Health Centre, 147 Anketell Street, Greenway ACT (On the corner of Anketell Street and Pitman Streets in the Tuggeranong shopping district)

Woden Mental Health Team

  • (02) 6205 1488
  • Phillip Community Health Centre, Level 1 Cnr Keltie and Corinna Streets, Woden ACT 2606

Gungahlin Mental Health Team

  • (02) 6205 1110
  • Gungahlin Community Health Centre, Ernest Cavanaugh Street, Gungahlin

Adult Step up Step Down (ASUSD) Program

The Adult Step up Step down (ASUSD) program provides residential and non residential psychosocial support programs for people with a mental illness. This program aims to prevent relapse and assist in a person’s recovery from an acute episode of illness. People ‘step up’ from the community into a highly supportive environment to prevent further illness and “step down” from the hospital setting to provide a more graduated return to their home. ASUSD is managed in partnership with Wellways who provide residential support and Woden Community Services (TRec) who provide non-residential support. Referrals to this program are made on behalf of people currently registered with mental health services in the ACT by their mental health clinical manager.

  • (02) 6245 6400

CoPMI (Children of Parents with a Mental Illness)

The COPMI (Children of Parents with a Mental Illness) program is a national initiative which was developed to support families and better manage the effects of mental illness on the family unit. Our CoPMI Clinician works in partnership with the adult mental health clinicians to improve outcomes for the people registered with our service. Referrals are accepted internally through our mental health clinicians.

  • (02) 6205 1110

Forensic Mental Health Services

Forensic mental health care is provided through the Justice Health Services Program.

Dhulwa Secure Mental Health Unit

Dhulwa is a secure forensic mental health unit, located adjacent to a nature reserve in Symonston. The unit provides acute and rehabilitation mental health programs.

People are generally admitted to the unit from the criminal justice system under the Mental Health Act 2015. A small group of people are admitted from other mental health services under the Mental Health Act 2015.

Dhulwa was purpose designed and built to further extend the delivery of clinical programs and treatment options for people suffering from acute mental health issues. The programs are provided within a recovery framework and are designed to provide purposeful, meaningful, individual and socially valued activities.

Visitor information

Visits to Dhulwa are by appointment only. Visitors are required to provide 100 points of identification and must register on the biometric security system before entering the unit for the first time.

  • (02) 6207 9700
  • 30 Mugga Ln, Symonston ACT 2609, Australia

Forensic Mental Health Service

The forensic Mental Health Service is a specialist service based in the court, custodial setting, youth detention and community settings. The Forensic Mental Health Service provides assessment and intervention for people with a mental illness who have or are at risk of criminal offending.

Forensic Services includes Forensic Community Outreach Service, Court Assessment and Liaison Service and Mental Health Services at the Alexander Maconochie Centre (AMC) and the Bimberi Youth Detention Centre (BYDC)

Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services

Child & Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) Community Teams

The CAMHS Community Teams provide assessment and treatment for children and young people under 18 years of age who are experiencing moderate to severe mental health difficulties.

  • CAMHS Intake Line (02) 6205 1971
  • CAMHS Northside at the Belconnen Community Health Centre (02) 6205 1050
  • CAMHS Southside at Callum offices, Woden (02) 6205 1469

Specialist Youth Mental Health Outreach Team

This service provides care for young people experiencing early onset psychosis. The Team operates 7 days a week and provides an outreach service for those who are unable to attend office based treatment.

  • (02) 6205 1971
  • Callum Offices, Woden

The Cottage Adolescent Day Program

The Adolescent Day Program is offered to young people between the ages of 12 and 17 who are residents of the ACT and who are experiencing moderate to severe mental health issues. Referrals to this specialist program are facilitated through a person’s allocated Clinical Manager within their treating mental health team.

  • (02) 6205 1128
  • Calvary Hospital campus

Perinatal Mental Health Consultation Service

The Perinatal Mental Health Consultation Service provides assessment, treatment, support, advice and referrals for women experiencing moderate to sever mental illness during the prenatal and perinatal phase up until 12 months after giving birth. Please note PMHCS is not a mental health crisis service and does not provide clinical management.

  • (02) 6205 1469
  • Location: Callum Office, Woden

Perinatal Mental Health Consultation Service Referral Form - enote

Perinatal Mental Health Consultation Service Referral Form

Supporting Young People Through Early Intervention and Prevention Strategies (STEPS)

STEPS is a 24 hour residential facility which is delivered in partnership with Catholic Care. The program supports young people aged 13-17 experiencing moderate to severe mental health issues as an alternative to a hospital admission. Referrals to this specialist program are facilitated through a person’s allocated Clinical Manager within their treating mental health team.

  • (02) 6205 1971

Youth Step up Step Down (YSUSD) Program

The Youth Step up Step down (YSUSD) program provides a residential psychosocial support program for young people aged 18-25 people with a mental illness. This program aims to prevent relapse and assist in a young person’s recovery from an acute episode of illness. Young people ‘step up’ from the community into a highly supportive environment to prevent further illness and “step down” from the hospital setting to provide a more graduated return to their home. YSUSD is managed in partnership with Wellways. Referrals to this program are made on behalf of people currently registered with mental health services in the ACT by their mental health clinical manager.

  • (02) 6205 1971

Childhood Early Intervention Team

The Childhood Early Intervention Team operates in partnership with ACT Education and Training Directorate. This program focuses on the early identification and treatment of primary school children who are at high risk of developing a mental illness and provides group work interventions.

Eating Disorders Program

The ACT Eating Disorders Program is a specialist, community-based, multidisciplinary team providing assessment and treatment programs to people with a primary diagnosis of an eating disorder. The program offers Family Based Therapy programs, Group work and Dietician consultations. Referrals are received from GP’s. The team operates in business hours, Monday to Friday (excluding public holidays).  Refer to the Eating Disorders web page for more information.

  • (02) 6205 1519
  • Phillip Community Health Centre, Cnr Keltie and Corinna Streets, Woden ACT 2606

Rehabilitation & Specialty Mental Health Services

Mental illness comprises a wide range of disorders and can vary in severity. Additionally, social issues such as unemployment, addiction, disability, poverty and homelessness may further impact a persons ability to access services. ACT Health provides a number of specialised mental health services to help each person access individualized care which is suitable for their needs.

Aboriginal Liaison Officer

The Aboriginal Liaison Office ensures that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people from the ACT and Regional NSW can access mainstream healthcare services.

The Aboriginal Liaison Office can provide:

  • Emotional, social and cultural support to patients and their families
  • Liaison services for patients and their families; and
  • Information about hospital services and the linkage between the Hospital and other Indigenous Community resources.

The Aboriginal Liaison Officers work in collaboration with social workers to undertake these services. This service is available Monday to Friday during business hours.

Contact us

You can contact the Aboriginal Liaison Office through the Social Work department by calling (02) 6244 2316.

Aboriginal Mental Health Nurse

The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Mental Health nurse provides mental health assessment and community support for Aboriginal people within the community who are not receiving mental health support from mainstream mental health services.

This service encompasses all of Canberra region.

  • (02) 6284 6222
  • Winnunga Nimmityjah Health Service

Co-morbidity Clinician

Challenging perceptions around drug and alcohol use is a large part of the work undertaken by this service. The co-morbidity clinician provides a consultation-liaison service to mental health clinicians in relation to people who have mental health and alcohol and drug issues.

This clinician works with other ACT Health mental health teams to provide training, advice and consultation to other clinical staff and people registered with the service. The co-morbidity clinician completes joint assessments to enable them to develop comprehensive and collaborative plans that address mental health and co-morbidity issues. Opportunities are taken to develop relationships with community agencies and further develop linkages with the Alcohol & Drug Service Co-Morbidity clinician.

  • (02) 6205 0974

All referrals and initial contact with the ACT Alcohol and Other Drugs Services can be made by calling the 24 Hour Helpline - 6207 9977

Mental Health Service for People with Intellectual Disability (MHS ID)

The Mental Health Service for People with Intellectual Disability (MHS ID) is a specialist consultation - liaison service that provides comprehensive clinical assessment and mental health treatment to people with an intellectual disability and a known or suspected mental illness/mental dysfunction. This MHS ID team provides mental health expertise to mental health colleagues, external agencies, medical teams, families and carers as well as provides training and education to treating practitioners, families, support persons and other relevant agencies.

Referrals can be made by contacting the Mental Health Service for People with Intellectual Disability team.

  • (02) 6207 9977
  • Gungahlin Community Health Centre, 57 Earnest Cavanagh St, Gungahlin ACT 2912 (On the corner of Ernest Cavanagh Street and Fussell Lane)

Older Persons Mental Health Community Team (OPMCT)

The Older Persons Mental Health Community Team is a specialist mental health assessment and care service for people over the age of 65 years with mental illness and issues of ageing. The multidisciplinary team works within a clinical management model to provide specialist mental health assessment and treatment services to people with complex co-morbidities of mental and physical health conditions.

The OPMHCT has an Intensive Treatment Service (ITS) that focuses on providing intensive care to people who have recently been discharged from hospital or who are living in the community but require extra support.

  • (02) 6205 1957
  • Calvary Hospital

Mental Health Neuropsychology

The Mental Health Neuropsychology team is a specialised mental health service that provides comprehensive neuropsychology assessments and consultation to consumers currently registered with mental health teams in the ACT.

A neuropsychology assessment looks at a range of mental abilities such as memory, attention, planning, reasoning, processing speed and general intelligence and these assessments can be used to assist with diagnosis, understanding personal strengths and weaknesses, and treatment planning.

Referrals for neuropsychological assessment are only accepted for people currently receiving treatment from Mental Health teams in the ACT and must be facilitated by their treating Psychiatrist.

  • (02) 6205 1488
  • Woden Community Health Centre, Cnr Keltie and Corinna Streets, Woden ACT 2606

Brian Hennessy Rehabilitation Centre (BHRC)

Brian Hennessy Rehabilitation Centre (BHRC) is a 30 bed mental health residential facility that aims to provide a recovery focused model of care within a rehabilitation setting. Presently it serves a number of functions including longer long term residential care, medium term rehabilitation services, and an Extended Care Unit which provides a an environment for secure care.

The centre provides person centred care tailored to the individual needs and goals of each resident. BHRC utilises evidence based interventions within a rehabilitation context aimed toward people achieving independent living skills, improved mental health and integration back into the community

Referrals to the centre are only accepted for people already receiving treatment through mental health services in the ACT and who have an allocated mental health Clinical Manager. Detailed information will be required as part of the referral process.

As this is a residential facility, there is a financial cost to people staying at BHRC.

  • (02) 6251 1222

Adult Mental Health Day Service

The Adult Mental Health Day Service (AMHDS) is a free day program which delivers evidence based and recovery focused interventions. The programs include individual and group psychotherapy for people who have experienced a mental illness and are living in the community such as psycho education, living skills programs, individual and group psychotherapy programs. These programs are designed to enhance a person’s quality of life and improve their capacity to live in the community.

Referrals are accepted form acute mental health care settings, mental health rehabilitation units and other community mental health settings.

  • (02) 6207 9977
  • Belconnen Community Health Centre, 56 Lathlain St, Belconnen ACT 2617

Eating Disorders Program

The ACT Eating Disorders Program is a specialist, community-based, multidisciplinary team providing assessment and treatment programs to people with a primary diagnosis of an eating disorder. The program offers Family Based Therapy programs, Group work and Dietician consultations. Referrals are received from GP’s. The team operates in business hours, Monday to Friday (excluding public holidays).  Refer to the Eating Disorders web page for more information.

  • (02) 6205 1519
  • Phillip Community Health Centre, Cnr Keltie and Corinna Streets, Woden ACT 2606

Mental Health Services at Calvary Hospital

Calvary Public Hospital in Bruce offers assessment and treatment for a range of acute mental health issues on a short term basis. Ongoing longer term recovery and support are provided by Community Mental Health services and other support organisations https://www.calvarycare.org.au/public-hospital-bruce/

Calvary Mental Health Consultation Liaison Service

The Mental Health Consultation Liaison Service provides an integrated, acute mental health service within the Emergency Department, and General and Medical wards of the Calvary Hospital. The Mental Health Consultation Liaison Service provides specialist mental health assessment and treatment services through a multi-disciplinary team.

  • (02) 6201 6020

Ward 2N

Ward 2N is a 20 bed public inpatient mental health facility which provides acute and sub-acute care services for people with a mental illness. The majority of admissions are arranged via the Emergency Departments at Calvary and Canberra Hospital and Health Services (CH&HS). Admissions to the adult unit (Ward 2N) must be able to be safely managed in an open environment.

  • (02) 6201 6320
  • Fax: (02) 6201 6011
  • Ward 2n, Calvary Hospital, Corner Belconnen Way and Haydon Drive, Bruce ACT 2617

Older Persons Mental Health Inpatient Unit

The Older Persons Mental Health Inpatient Unit is a 20 bed unit which provides specialist inpatient mental health treatment and care by multi-disciplinary teams of medical and non-medical clinical staff. Treatment approaches are based on best available clinical evidence. Persons admitted to this unit are usually aged 65 and over with mental illness who may be experiencing psychiatric, emotional or behavioural disturbance.

  • (02) 6264 7000
  • Fax: (02) 6201 6011
  • Ward 2n, Calvary Hospital, Corner Belconnen Way and Haydon Drive, Bruce ACT 2617

Hyson Green

Hyson Green at Calvary Private Hospital is a Private Mental Health facility which offers voluntary mental health services that provide support, education, understanding skill development and self-management.

The Hyson Green programs aim to provide support, promote self-awareness and the development of knowledge and skills to enable patients to function at their highest level of ability in their home, work and community – thus reducing or eliminating the need for, or frequency of, hospital admissions.

A referral is required from your GP or specialist is required to be considered for admission to this unit.

Fees apply

  • (02) 6201 6000
  • Calvary Hospital, Haydon Dr, Bruce 2617

The Chief Psychiatrist

The Chief Psychiatrist is statutory appointment that holds powers and conducts duties as prescribed by the Mental Health Act 2015. The powers invested in the Chief Psychiatrist impose a governance responsibility over the Mental Health Service delivered in the ACT and other specified agencies that seek to influence the delivery of mental health treatment and care to the ACT Community.

The Chief Psychiatrist is supported by team of staff who assist in the discharge of statutory responsibilities whilst ensuring the rights of people with lived experience of mental illness are upheld. This includes the responsibility for the treatment and care of patients of Mental Health Services, and the monitoring of standards of mental health care delivered within the ACT.

The Chief Psychiatrist reports to the Minister for Mental Health with respect to matters affecting the provision of treatment, care or support, control, accommodation, maintenance and protection for persons who have a mental illness, and provides advice to the Minister for Mental Health about the provision of mental health services for the Territory.