Australia is experiencing an unprecedented rise in mental illness, with approximately one in five Australians aged 16–85 experiencing a mental disorder in the previous 12 months.
Neami National in partnership with SA Health and RI International were about to launch an Australian first urgent mental health centre in Adelaide. It would provide an alternative to the hospital emergency department for those experiencing a mental health crisis.
We worked with Neami to bring an evidence-based and user-led service model to life through thoughtful brand and experience design.
We synthesised existing co-design research to create an experience strategy for the centre from the help seeker's perspective.
A hugely important and impactful initiative, the Centre in the Adelaide CBD will offer an alternative to the emergency department for people experiencing an acute mental health crisis. Visitors will be greeted by someone with lived experience and after a short-term stay will leave with a co-designed mental health care plan.
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“I was not expecting the help I got today. I feel so much better coming here, and felt so comfortable talking with [staff] and felt supported.”
“You welcomed us with open arms, and our family felt listened to and given helpful support and information. My son is taking small and positive steps forward, one day at a time. We have a long road ahead of us but the knowledge that you are there is so comforting. The paramedics who initially attended were wonderful, and I am so thankful that they recommended your service.”
The project gave form to Neami's vision of providing people experiencing a mental health crisis a caring, safe and inclusive alternative to visiting an Emergency Department. By harnessing effective brand and physical experience design we were able to create a consistent experience that supports the service goals of the centre.
Through developing the centre's brand and detailing the visual and experiential expression of that brand, we supported Neami to build a space that feels welcoming and supportive to all who walk through its doors. It is a backdrop to the peer-led and clinical service that supports the recovery journey of those experiencing a mental health crisis.
The Urgent Mental Health Care Centre is the first of its kind in Australia and provides a proof of concept on how urgent mental health care can be fairer, kinder and more effective.