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Sonder celebrates launch of new mental health service

Sonder celebrates launch of new mental health service

On Thursday 20 June, Sonder proudly announced the official opening of the Northern Adelaide Medicare Mental Health Centre (formerly Head to Health), a new mental health service.

Funded by the Australian Government, Adelaide PHN, and the Northern Adelaide Local Health Network (NALHN), this new service offers free support for adults experiencing mental health concerns, including crisis situations and suicidal thoughts. The centre operates seven days a week, welcoming individuals without the need for an appointment or referral.

Official launch event

The launch event saw the attendance of several esteemed guests including:

  • The Hon Mark Butler MP, Minister for Health and Aged Care
  • The Hon Chris Picton MP, SA Minister for Health and Wellbeing
  • Emma McBride MP, Assistant Minister for Mental Health and Suicide Prevention
  • Matt Burnell MP, Member for Spence

Attendees were given personal tours of the centre, showcasing its warm, welcoming, and calm environment. Ngarrindjeri and Kaurna Elder, Uncle Moogy Sumner, provided a traditional Welcome to Country and Smoking Ceremony.

A milestone in mental health support

Sageran Naidoo, CEO of Sonder, praised the highly skilled multidisciplinary team of mental health clinicians, medical staff, and peer practitioners with their own personal experiences of mental health challenges.

Since its soft opening in April 2024, the Northern Adelaide Medicare Mental Health Centre has supported over 150 individuals.

Highlighting Sonder’s extensive experience in delivering quality care to Adelaide’s northern region, Mark Butler MP remarked,

Individuals visiting the centre receive really high-quality support from an organisation that has a 30-year record of delivering innovative, compassionate, highly qualified support to people in this community.

A new approach

Designed as an alternative to emergency departments, the centre offers a non-clinical, person-centred approach.

Kat Elsby, Peer Practice Lead at Sonder, explained,

You come in and you’re welcomed into a warm, comforting home-like environment, where you can connect with people from a variety of disciplines according to your needs and preferences.

The event also provided platform to discuss the future of mental health support in South Australia. Shaun Sweeney, Divisional Director of Allied Health & Community at NALHN, unveiled plans for a new two-storey Mental Health Crisis Stabilisation Centre. Scheduled to open in 2026 next to the Lyell McEwin Hospital, the new facility will provide drop-in and booked services on the ground level and a 16-bed service on the upper level, offering up to three days of care and connection to necessary supports for those in distress.

Visit the Northern Adelaide Medicare Mental Health Centre

Located at 23 Gillingham Road, Elizabeth, the Northern Adelaide Medicare Mental Health Centre is open Monday to Friday from 8:30 am to 9:00 pm, and Saturday to Sunday from 12:00 pm to 6:30 pm. For more information, visit sonder.net.au/headtohealth.

The opening of this new service underscores a significant step forward in supporting the mental wellbeing of the northern Adelaide community.