The Mental Health Standing Committee (MHSC) on behalf of the Australian Health Ministers Conference (AHMC) is progressing the Fourth National Mental Health Plan (the Fourth Plan) implementation and monitoring process.

All jurisdictions have been involved in the development of this Implementation Strategy which details the process for implementation that will achieve the aims and objectives of the Fourth Plan.

This Implementation Strategy identifies how progress will be monitored, including whether quantitative and or qualitative measures are relevant to measuring the achievement of the principles, priority areas and actions of the Fourth Plan. In measuring how the Fourth Plan is impacting on mental health reform in Australia, the Implementation Strategy covers areas other than health as determinants of good mental health, recognising that determinants of mental health and mental illness are influenced by factors beyond the health system.

AHMC will report on progress against this Implementation Strategy every year to the Council of Australian Governments (COAG). Responsibility for monitoring and coordination of the implementation, evaluation and reporting effort vests with the MHSC.

The Fourth National Mental Health Plan Implementation Strategy was developed under the auspices of the Australian Health Ministers' Advisory Council (AHMAC) and in consultation with the Cross Sectoral National Mental Health Plan Implementation Working Group.

Since the Fourth Plan was developed, COAG (with the exception of Western Australia) has agreed:

  1. that the Commonwealth will take responsibility for primary mental health care services which target the more common mild to moderate mental illnesses, such as anxiety and depression, including those currently provided by the states and territories; and
  2. to undertake further work on the scope for additional mental health service reform for report back to COAG in 2011, including the potential for further improvements to the allocation of roles and responsibilities in the mental health sector.
This Implementation Strategy will be amended as necessary to reflect future COAG decisions as part of broader health reform.