Introduction

The National Mental Health Service Planning Framework (NMHSPF) provides a comprehensive model of the mental health care required to meet population needs, and is designed to help plan, coordinate and resource mental health services. It is an evidence-based framework providing national average benchmarks for optimal service delivery across the full spectrum of mental health services in Australia. It provides an agreed national language for mental health services, with a detailed taxonomy and definitions of service types accompanied by national average modelling parameters and salaries. The associated NMHSPF Planning Support Tool (NMHSPF-PST) allows users to estimate need and expected demand for mental health care and the level and mix of mental health services required for a given population. The NMHSPF builds on state and territory expertise in population-based mental health service planning and has collated expert input from around 250 service managers and planners, public and private sector clinicians, community sector professionals, consumers, carers, technical experts and academics.

The framework is designed to support co-ordinated planning across the mental health system from primary to specialised care. It provides a common language and consistent goals for planning mental health services. The ultimate aim is to improve the availability of mental health services so all Australians can access the mental health supports they need.