Acute Crisis Management Units

The network of Acute Crisis Management Units was established in New South Wales by the end of 1999 to provide a short-term crisis intervention referral option for Risk Intervention Teams and Risk Assessment and Intervention Teams when the risk of suicide and self-harm can not be managed locally.

ACMU's are not designed for mentally ill inmates, or inmates who pose a risk of harm to others. Acutely mentally ill inmates are to be referred to Long Bay Hospital or one of the Mental Health Screening Units. Inmates with challenging behaviours should be referred to Personality & Behaviour Disorders Unit.

Acute Crisis Management Units (ACMU) accept referrals for inmates at acute risk of suicide or self-harm who cannot be managed at their gaol of classification. There are two functional Acute Crisis Management Units for male inmates. The ACMU located at MSPC 1, Long Bay Complex, accepts inmates of all classifications. The ACMU at Bathurst CC can accept inmates up to and including A2 classification.

The ACMU's provide assessment, stabilization, review, and discharge management plan for the inmate's gaol of classification. The duration of the admission is ordinarily from three days to six months. The program objective is to assess and improve the inmate's presentation, decrease the incidents of self-harm and suicidal behaviour, take appropriate crisis actions and discharge the inmate to the appropriate level of case management.

The ACMU programs provide:

  • support for individuals who are identified as significantly self harming and/or suicidal and in crisis, where appropriate;
  • interaction and stimulation as appropriate, taking into account the particular needs of the individual and the need to keep the environment calm and tranquil;
  • solution-focussed problem-solving approaches, working collaboratively with the inmate to encourage coping;
  • consistent implementation of behaviour management plans to reduce the frequency of problem behaviours;
  • ​appropriate strategies to manage the situational problem contributing to the risk;
  • ​​Discharge plans for the appropriate level of case management.

Ensure 'at risk' inmates are discharged to a shared accommodation placement except where this is contraindicated.