Sub-Acute Mental Health Unit


About the Sub-Acute Mental Health Unit.

The Sub-Acute Mental Health Unit supports people who are struggling with mental health issues through psychosocial interventions (mental health supports and education). The Unit has 20 beds and is available for residents in the Illawarra and Shoalhaven areas.


Sub acute entry
Sub- acute Mental Health Unit entry.


Step up’ or ‘Step down’

The Unit supports people within the community who are becoming unwell to avoid a hospital admission. This is called a “step up” admission. 

The Unit also supports people who have been in hospital and want to work on their recovery before returning home. This is called a “step down” admission. 


What we do.

The Sub-Acute Mental Health Unit program runs for 28 days and is aimed at improving health and wellness through a range of educational groups and individual sessions. We work with people from a recovery-orientated and trauma-informed perspective.

We assist consumers to look at ways of improving their psychological, physical, and social wellbeing, and prepare for returning home. This includes providing group education to enhance knowledge and skills and offer a safe place for consumers to work on their recovery and share their experience with others.

We are a service where consumer’s family or care networks are welcomed and are offered support and education about mental health issues.


Main social area
Main social area


Sensory room
Sensory room



What might a usual day look like?

TIME                                     ACTIVITY

6.30am-8.00am                    Breakfast

8.30am-9.00am                    Morning Meeting & Relaxation

9.00am-9.30am                    Morning Walk

10.00am-11.55pm                Group Education Sessions

12.00pm-1.00pm                  Lunch

1.00pm-4.00pm                    Individual appointments

1.00pm-4.00pm                    Afternoon groups and activities

5.30pm-6.30pm                    Dinner

6.30pm-10.00pm                  Relaxation/Own time


Leave Hours

Weekdays 12pm-5.00pm

Weekends 10am-5.00pm


Staff at Sub-acute Mental Health Unit.

Nurse Unit Manager                      Registered Nurses & Clinical Nurse Specialists

Allied Health Assistants                 Aboriginal Allied Health Assistant

Peer Workers                                Social Worker

Psychologist                                  Occupational Therapist

Diversional Therapist                    Mental Health Liaison Officer (Intake)

Administration Officer


Who should access this service?

Those living in the Illawarra and Shoalhaven areas who are;

  • Aged 18-65 years old seeking help with a mental health condition
  • In need of short-term support to avoid hospitalisation or needing support after a mental health hospital stay
  • Willing and able to attend group programs that are recovery focused.

There are a number of things that we consider when determining if this program will benefit you, some of these are:

  • Primary diagnosis of mental illness/disorder
  • Resides within the Illawarra/Shoalhaven geographical areas
  • Aged between 18-65 (referrals for people over 65 may be considered on a case by case basis)
  • Require short term support to avoid acute hospitalisation or to support post-acute hospitalisation as transition
  • Willingness to engage in recovery and goal-orientated activities


If you are unsure if you are eligible, please get in contact with the Sub-acute Mental Health Unit on the details below the photo.


This is the courtyard that is open during the day
Courtyard area



How to access this service.

Referral forms can be obtained directly from the Sub-acute Mental Health Unit by calling (02) 44291 666

Referrals to the Sub-Acute Mental Health Unit-Community can be completed by:

  • GPs
  • Psychiatrists
  • Psychologists and Counsellors
  • Social Workers
  • Nurses
  • Community Mental Health Teams
  • Inpatient Mental Health Services
  • NGOs
  • Or any other professional or service involved in your care.


For assistance regarding a referral to this service please call unit direct on (02) 4429 1666 or:

Mental Health Line 1800011511

Mental Health Line is a 24-hour telephone access service.

If it is an emergency call: 000


Contact Information

Sub-Acute Mental Health Unit
Shoalhaven District Memorial Hospital site
via 2 Shoalhaven Street
Nowra NSW 2541
Sub-Acute Mental Health Unit
PO Box 246
Nowra NSW 2541
1800 011 511
02 4429 1666
Monday 12:00pm to 8:00pm
Tuesday 12:00pm to 8:00pm
Wednesday 12:00pm to 8:00pm
Thursday 12:00pm to 8:00pm
Friday 12:00pm to 8:00pm
Weekends and public holidays 8:00am to 8:00pm

How to get there

You can drive to the Shoalhaven District Memorial Hospital (Scenic Drive, Nowra) or use public transport. The nearest train station is Bomaderry Railway Station. Shoal Bus service the area, and the route numbers are 721 and 722. The Sub-Acute Mental Health Unit is behind the Shoalhaven District Memorial Hospital site, and access is off Shoalhaven Street.


Free public parking is available at Shoalhaven District Memorial Hospital, adjacent to the hospital building. For advice on parking near the Sub-Acute Mental Health Unit phone the unit: (02) 4429 1666.