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PACER program

Member for Mulgoa, Tanya Davies with representatives from NBMLHD's Mental Health service, NSW Ambulance and NSW Police Force.

Mental Health clinicians to work alongside first responders

21 Oct 2020


The Nepean Blue Mountains Local Health District (NBMLHD) Mental Health service, NSW Ambulance and NSW Police Force will commence a new initiative to jointly manage mental health emergencies in the Nepean area.

Three senior mental health clinicians will shortly be embedded in the Nepean Police Area Command as part of the $6.1 million investment by NSW Government to establish Police Ambulance Clinical Early Response (PACER) teams across NSW.

Minister for Mental Health, Bronnie Taylor said the investment of $500,000 in NBMLHD’s PACER team will benefit locals requiring mental health emergency care, their families and carers.

“These clinicians will be based at St Marys Police Station but will cover the broader areas around and including the St Marys and Penrith regions. They are charged with the responsibility of providing emergency mental health care in the community when safe to do so,” Ms Taylor said.

Member for Mulgoa, Tanya Davies said, “This collaboration between NSW Health and NSW Police Force aims to reduce the number of emergency department presentations, improve mental health outcomes for affected individuals, and reduce stigma across the community.”

NBMLHD Director, Mental Health, Cathy Crowe said the PACER teams will improve outcomes for mental health consumers by creating an immediate mental health response.

“The PACER program will ensure that we’re providing the right care at the right time for some of the most vulnerable members of the community,” Ms Crowe said.

Nepean Police Area Command Superintendent Keane said his team receives 130 mental health related calls a month, and many of these are currently transported to the closest emergency department (ED).

“Our police officers want to provide the best, most effective care to people who are distressed and in crisis – and currently we rely on EDs to provide that emergency care,” Superintendent Keane said.

“We welcome the addition of dedicated mental health clinicians to our team who will improve both our response time, as well as our collective understanding of how to support people in these situations.”