Mental Health

There has been a long history of Psychiatry on the original site of the Mental Health Unit adjacent to the Darlinghurst Gaol. ‘The Reception House’, Darlinghurst, was opened in 1868, when it was previously the custom to remand the person to gaol for observation.

St Vincent’s, driven by its Mission and Values, continues to focus on the needs of the marginalised and disenfranchised, which is as evident now in the modern mental health service as it was at its inception.   With this in mind, the Service is integrated within a purpose build environment, encapsulating cooperation and collaboration in a culture of transparency and hope.   

With some of the country’s highest levels of urban social disadvantage characterised by homelessness, chronic mental illness, substance misuse and other complex general health needs, the Mental Health Service provides a comprehensive range of services and interventions.

We deliver, through partnerships with NGO’s and primary care providers, a spectrum of services utilising models of care to best support consumer and carer in a recovery focused  and strengths orientated framework.

The Mental Health Service is made up of:

Specialty servicesPsychogeriatric/Old Age Psychiatry Service, Consultation Liaison Psychiatry Service, the Program for Early Intervention & Prevention of Disability (PEIPOD) and The Anxiety Disorders Unit
Inpatient services: Caritas High Dependency Unit, Acute Unit and the Psychiatric Emergency Care Centre
Community services: Triage, continuing care, rehabilitation, early intervention and Day Clinic
Research unitsFaces in the Street (urban mental health research unit), CRUfAD (Clinical Research Unit for Anxiety and Depression)  and Research Unit for Schizophrenia Epidemiology

These services collectively deliver high performing outcomes in patient care and bed management and all within an environment of high demand and complex need.  

While recognising the needs of those with significant disability, our services are strengths focused and recovery-oriented, which are guided by consultation and collaboration with primary health care and non-government organisation (NGO) partners, consumers and carers.

St Vincent's Mental Health Strategic Plan

The Mental Health Strategic Plan includes four priorities which will guide our mental health services in the coming years:

Community outreach – to grow our services beyond the hospital walls 
Digital mental health – to continue to lead and innovate in eHealth and virtual care
Precision mental health – for tailored treatments to deliver the best possible outcomes
An Urban Heath Centre – for early intervention supports for consumers and their families 

The plan also commits us to strengthen consultation and liaison services and complex care coordination. While also focussing on mental health education and research excellence.  

Download the St Vincent’s Mental Health Strategic Plan here.

Useful Contacts

The Mental Health Line is a 24-hour telephone service which operates seven days a week across NSW. Tel: 1800 011 511. 
In an emergency, please call 000 or go to a hospital emergency department, where they may refer you to a mental health service.

  • Lifeline 131114 Online crisis support chat
  • Beyond Blue: 1300 22 4636, 24 hours / 7 days a week
  • Men’s line: 1300 789 978
  • Sane Australia: 1800 187 263  
  • Carers Australia: 1800 242 636 
  • Health Direct Australia: 1800022222


Mental Health Clinical Director: Dr Nicholas Babidge

Mental Health Service Manager: Sean Evans

Tel: 02 8382 1300

Fax: 02 8382 1802

Address: The O'Brien Centre,390 Victoria Street. Darlinghurst NSW 2010

Helpful Websites

This Way Up

Provides industry leading online courses designed to help with your wellbeing. Specialising in Anxiey, Depression, Social Phobia, Panic, OCD, Mindfulness, Stress, PTSD, Chronic Pain and insomnia 

Project Air 

Working with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD), Antisocial Personality Disorder (APD), and Paranoid, Schizoid, Schizotypal, Histrionic, Avoidant, Dependent, and Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorders.

 Beyond Blue

Aims to increase awareness of depression and anxiety and reduce stigma. 

Health Direct

Providing support and education for people with mental illness and their families and carers throughout Australia.


Provides mental health and well-being support, information and services to young people aged 12 to 25 years and their families.


Mental health resources to support individuals, families and communities

Men's Line

A telephone and online counselling service for men with emotional health and relationship concerns.

Black Dog Institute

Helps with  identification, prevention and treatment of mental illness, and the promotion of well-being.


Provides nationwide telephone and web-based services to support lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people of all ages. 

NSW Health

Alphabetical list of programs to build the capacity of the mental health care system