Penrith Adult Mental Health Centre - Opening December 2021

Background and Overview

The Federal Government has invested $14 million into the Penrith Adult Mental Health Centre as part of its 2019-20 Prioritising Mental Health budget measure.

The Centre is one of eight being trialled across the country over next five years, with one located in each state and territory. The Primary Health Network (PHN) has been tasked with delivering the centres, which will provide much needed support to individuals seeking help, particularly in times of crisis.The Centre will open by December 2021.

Wentworth Healthcare, the provider of the Nepean Blue Mountains PHN, will be delivering the concept in Penrith and is excited to be entering the commissioning phase of the project.

The Centres are designed to provide a welcoming, low stigma soft entry point to engagement and assessment for people who may be experiencing distress or crisis, including people with conditions too complex for many current primary care services but who are not eligible for or awaiting care from state or territory public community mental health. They are also intended to trial approaches to offering immediate, short and medium term episodes of care and service navigation to connect people to ongoing services. They will assist adults seeking help in times of crisis, or as needs emerge, to have access to on-the-spot care, advice and support provided by a variety of health professionals – without needing a prior appointment.

The Centres are intended to complement, not replace or duplicate, mental health services already provided in the community. They are not designed to offer longer term care but will be based on an episode of care model, delivering packages of evidence-based care and family support to cover the short to medium term, which could last from a few weeks to several months based on clinical judgement and individual need. Centres are to provide an accessible, responsive service that meets immediate needs and provides expertise in assessment of needs, linkage and support, and care. Centres should also provide integrated mental health and AOD services.

We believe that community and health industry consultation is very important to the design of this centre and there will be opportunity for people to provide input in the coming months. We are inviting people to register their interest in being involved in the consultation process through HealthHub, our consultation platform at


For Existing HealthHub Users, please ensure you are logged into HealthHub, and update your profile,scroll to the bottom of the page, and tick the box next to;

"I would like to receive updates on the following projects: "Penrith Adult Mental Health Centre""

The Australian Government is funding a trial of eight Adult Mental Health Centres across Australia. The Adult Mental Health Centres will be developed and operate at the local level under the following operational principles. The Centres will:

  1. Offer a highly visible and accessible ‘no wrong door’ entry point for adults and their families to access information and services which are designed to empower, support and improve their psychological and physical health, and social and emotional wellbeing.
  2. Provide information and services which can assist those providing support to people in need.
  3. Provide a welcoming, compassionate, culturally appropriate and safe environment that is inclusive for all people accessing services or supports that are trauma-informed, person-centred and recovery-focused.
  4. Provide access across extended hours to best practice on the spot advice, support and care for immediate, short term, and where appropriate, medium term needs delivered by a multidisciplinary professional health care team providing discipline specific and interdisciplinary care including a suitably trained peer support workforce, nursing and allied health and specialist medical care, without prior appointments or a fee.
  5. Assist people in need to find, access and effectively utilise digital forms of help including information, support and therapies.
  6. Support people to connect to pathways of care through integration with longer term existing community mental health services where these are accessible and appropriate, local Primary Health Network commissioned services, or GPs and state and territory funded services, as required.
  7. Provide an option for intervention and support that may reduce the need for emergency department attendance.
  8. Explore opportunities for the development and utilisation of innovation to complement defined core functions, and to meet gaps in the provision of mental health services in the region.
  9. Implement appropriate confidentiality and privacy arrangements in accordance with relevant legislation.
  10. Operate under robust effective governance frameworks that support connectivity to other supports and services, and conduct local evaluation activities, to ensure transparency and accountability and maximising service quality.

The establishment and implementation of the Adult Mental Health Centres trial will be nationally evaluated to generate new evidence and to guide any future expansion of this initiative.