National mental health information priorities 2nd edition

Part 3: The challenges ahead

Page last updated: June 2005

The past decade has laid the foundation for a comprehensive set of information about the cost, quality and outcomes of Australia's mental health services that is rich by national and international standards. The potential for an 'informed mental health sector' exists, but continued effort is needed to make this a reality.

The first edition of the national information priorities statement, released in 1999, mapped out an ambitious agenda that is likely to take ten years to complete. The four overarching themes underpinning the 1999 first edition workplan remain relevant to the years ahead and will continue to guide the next phase. They describe a vision for the mental health sector in which information is used to:

  • strengthen the focus on consumer outcomes;

  • support improvements in service quality;

  • shift the focus of concern from cost to value for money; and

  • improve our understanding of population needs.
Achieving the vision over the next period of the National Mental Health Strategy requires consolidation of the work already underway, as well as extension into new areas of activity that are driven by the requirements of the National Mental Health Plan 2003-2008.

3.1 From information collection to information use

3.2 From projects to sustainable systems

3.3 Responding to new policy drivers