Neami, established in 1998, are a community-based organisation that provides services to improve mental health and wellbeing. They have a history of working with Primary Health Networks nationally, and most recently have launched the Adelaide Urgent Mental Health Care Centre, which is also part of the Adult Mental Health Centres trial.
NT PHN Chief Executive Officer, Gill Yearsley said “We are excited to embark on this project which is all about improving access to adult mental health services. Neami have the experience in co-design that we’re looking for and will collaborate with a range of Territory stakeholders including Larrakia Nation and NT Health.”
Neami National Chief Executive Officer Tom Dalton said, “Neami is excited to start working with the local community in Darwin to co-design, implement and deliver a welcoming, safe and inclusive space for people seeking mental health support. We know how much we learn when we have a deep engagement with the local community and how that feeds back into better services for people.
Working closely with our partner Larrakia Nation, we will bring an evidence-based recovery approach and an emphasis on lived experience to provide a ‘no wrong door’ way to support people with mental health concerns, their families and carers.
We will work closely with NT PHN and local clinical and community teams, focusing on creating local jobs and opportunities to contribute to a caring and robust mental health workforce in Darwin.”
Northern Territory Primary Health Network has been funded through the Australian Government and will receive $14 million over four years to establish and operate the centre. Darwin is one of eight trial sites across Australia for the Adult Mental Health Centres, which aim to provide a welcoming, ‘no wrong door’ entry point for adults to access mental health information, services and supports, providing more accessible services to those needing mental health support.
Ms Yearsley said, “The intent is to provide a holistic support network for people, so they are connected to a range of services based on their needs and their care is co-ordinated through the Adult Mental Health Centre.
We want people who are in distress to have somewhere safe to go, and not just within office hours.
In the Territory, it’s also important that the services are culturally appropriate and safe and that’s where the partnership between Larrakia Nation and Neami is critical.”
The Adult Mental Health Centre will operate seven days a week, including after hours, and is designed to meet the needs of adults over 25 years. The service will be free.
Northern Territory Minister for Health, Natasha Fyles said, “This is an exciting step for an important project that will help improve the lives of Territorians. The Territory Labor Government has worked closely with NT PHN to ensure Territorians have access to the very best mental health care and support.”
The next step will be for Neami, Larrakia Nation and NT PHN to work in partnership with the community and other stakeholders to ensure the centre meets local needs.
Member for Solomon, Luke Gosling, said “Demand for mental health services has increased throughout the pandemic – this new service will support people in Darwin with a mental illness on their journey of recovery.
All of us know someone who has struggled with mental illness and have seen the heavy toll it takes on families and communities.
This investment will mean hundreds of Territorians get the treatment and help that they need and deserve.”
NT PHN – Cassandra Buckley, Marketing & Communications Manager,
Ph: 8982 1041
M: 0448 800 438,
Neami National – Leon Meyer, Neami Communications and Marketing Lead,
Ph: 0408 079 988,