This paper is one of a series of discussion papers issued under the auspices of the Australian Health Ministers’ Advisory Council National Mental Health Working Group Information Strategy Committee. The series aims to cover a broad range of topics related to the development of a mental health information infrastructure. By releasing this paper as an Information Strategy Committee (ISC) discussion paper the intention is to provide those implementing routine measurement of mental health outcomes and case complexity in mental health services with broad contextual information and understanding.
This report, Towards National Benchmarks for Australian Mental Health Services, is the result of research undertaken by the Mental Health Research Institute in 1999 to assist the Commonwealth, States, Territories, clinicians, consumers and other mental health stakeholders to identify which mental health data items and sets will be useful as performance indicators and benchmarks for mental health services. Since the research was commissioned, there have been significant developments in the area of mental health information. New developments at both National and State and Territory levels have progressed the development of performance indicators and benchmarks for Australian mental health services. This report provides a valuable resource for both current and future developments in the area of mental health information. The ISC will continue to progress strategies, as outlined in the National Information Priorities and Strategies under the Second National Mental Health Plan 1998-2003 document, to improve the performance information available on mental health service delivery.