About the unit

PMHTU staff members have been involved for many years in training in undergraduate medicine, general practice, and emergency department, and schools.

In 2012, PMHTU was established within the University of Adelaide to provide a stable ongoing infrastructure to support these educational activities. It was judged that a fee-for-service approach would provide more security than continuing to rely on government grants.

Our aim is to supplement mental health assessment and intervention skills in non-psychiatric settings, so that general practitioners, allied health professionals, emergency department staff, teachers and counsellors feel more confident dealing with distressed individuals at their point of first contact.

PMHTU develops training programmes in collaboration with the recipients so that programmes are created that meet the required needs. Training usually consists of a mixture of face-to-face and online work, but the emphasis is on working together, so that interactive and participative teaching techniques are prominent.

We believe that for young people presenting in crisis it is most helpful:

  1. for young people to tell their story, and to have somebody understand their predicament.
  2. to be given guidance and support in recovery rather than be "treated".
  3. for most young people to be managed in a primary care relationship rather than in mental health services.