Online version of the 2012-13 Department of Health and Ageing Annual Report

Outcome 11: Mental Health

Improved mental health and suicide prevention, including through targeted prevention, identification, early intervention and health care services

Page last updated: 29 October 2013

Major Achievements

  • Adopted a long-term vision and reform plan for mental health through the Council of Australian Governments’ Ten Year Roadmap for National Mental Health Reform 2012-2022.
  • Continued roll out of headspace centres with 55 centres operational of the 70 headspace centres announced around Australia.
  • Finalised contractual arrangements with headspace to deliver early psychosis services, based on the Early Psychosis Prevention and Intervention Centre model, at nine headspace locations, with at least one located in each state and territory. The first of these sites, south-east Melbourne, was launched in June 2013.
  • Launched the online MindSpot virtual clinic. People with a mild to moderate mental illness can access therapy programs online and over the phone through the new virtual clinic.
  • Engaged organisations in 48 Medicare Local regions under the Partners in Recovery initiative, which will start delivering services in 2013-14.
  • Finalised Australia’s first National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Suicide Prevention Strategy.

Challenges

  • Improving mental health requires supports beyond those provided by mental health services and there are challenges in raising awareness, strengthening coordination and improving access to services particularly for people with severe mental illness. The Department will continue to address this in its implementation of programs and liaison with stakeholders.
  • Optimal mental health service delivery requires information about mental health, evidence about the services that are available and measurement and reporting of the outcomes for those affected by mental ill health. The Department will continue to work with key mental health stakeholder groups and provider organisations to improve the reporting of relevant mental health data to provide this information.

Performance

A doughnut chart and a table show the performance information of outcome 11 in 2012-13. Among the performance indicators and deliverables listed in the chapter, 90% were met as against 85.7% in 2011-12. 0% was substantially met in comparison to 7.1% and 10% were not met in comparison to 7.1% in 2011-12.

90.0% MET

0% SUBSTANTIALLY MET

10.0% NOT MET

Period Met Substantially met Not met
2012-13 90.0% 0.0% 10.0%
2011-12 85.7% 7.1% 7.1%

Program contributing to Outcome 11

Outcome Strategy

Outcome 11 aims to improve services and support for people with mental illness, their families and carers. In 2012-13, the Department worked to achieve this Outcome by managing initiatives under the program outlined below.

Program 11.1: Mental Health

Program 11.1 aims to strengthen leadership in mental health, invest in more and better coordinated services for people with mental illness and expand suicide prevention activities.

Strengthen leadership in mental health

In any given year, mental illness affects one in every five Australians.

In 2012-13, the Department continued working with state and territory governments and key stakeholders to deliver a mental health system that gives Australians with a mental illness timely access to support and the best chance of recovery. The Department has continued to strengthen mental health services with a strong focus on prevention and early intervention. Key priorities have been the need to take action across a person’s life, to recognise the spectrum of mental illness people may face and to address the early age onset of some mental illness and current barriers to accessing help.

The five year National Partnership Agreement Supporting National Mental Health Reform supports state and territories to provide stable accommodation and support for those with a severe mental illness and improve presentation, admission and discharge planning in emergency departments and major hospitals.

The Council of Australian Government’s (COAG) Ten Year Roadmap for National Mental Health Reform 2012-2022 provides a long-term vision and reform plan for mental health. The Roadmap provides a commitment by the Commonwealth and the states and territories to promote the importance of good mental health and wellbeing; to maximise opportunities to prevent and reduce the impact of mental health issues and to support people with mental health issues, their families and carers to live contributing lives.

COAG has established a Working Group on Mental Health Reform to progress priority areas of work arising from the Roadmap, including developing a successor to the Fourth National Mental Health Plan, and establishing achievable national whole of life outcomes-based indicators and targets for mental health that will be understood by the community. The Department is coordinating the Commonwealth’s involvement in the working group. An expert reference group on mental health chaired by the National Mental Health Commission advises this group.

Invest in more and better coordinated services for people with mental illness

The Department remains focused on delivering better coordinated mental health services. It is implementing initiatives that recognise mental illness as being more than just about the provision of clinical services and delivering programs which improve economic and social participation for people with a mental illness.

The Partners in Recovery initiative aims to better support people with severe and persistent mental illness with complex needs, and their carers and families. The initiative will ensure that the broad range of services and supports this vulnerable group needs work in a more collaborative and integrated way. In 2012-13, the Department engaged organisations under the Partners in Recovery initiative in 48 of 61 Medicare Local regions. These organisations will be working at a systems level and will drive collaboration between relevant sectors, services and supports within the region. The Department is working with the remaining 13 Medicare Local regions to increase their readiness to deliver services from 2013-14.

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Support for Day to Day Living in the Community

The Department also continued to increase the quality of life for individuals with severe and persistent mental illness through structured social activities delivered by non-government organisations under the Support for Day to Day Living in the Community program.

headspace

The Department continued to build on youth mental health programs through the successful rollout of additional funding for headspace sites, with a total of 70 headspace sites announced and 55 centres operational around Australia in 2012-13. Furthermore, contractual arrangements have been finalised to deliver early psychosis services across nine headspace centres, based on the Early Psychosis Prevention and Intervention Centre (EPPIC) model. Initially, four sites will be established, building to nine over three years. The first of these sites was launched in June 2013 in south-east Melbourne.

MindSpot clinic

In 2012-13, the MindSpot virtual clinic was launched. The online clinic provides step-by-step cognitive behavioural therapy for people with mild to moderate mental illness. In its first six months of operation, 42% of people seeking help from the MindSpot clinic reported never having previously sought help for a mental health problem. This suggests that the online format has been successful in reaching people who may not otherwise access treatment.

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Access to Allied Psychological Services (ATAPS)

During 2012-13, people with mental disorders of mild to moderate severity who have difficulty in accessing Medicare-subsidised mental health services continued to access such services under ATAPS. Funding to Medicare Locals for these services was significantly expanded during 2012-13 as a result of additional ATAPS funding provided in the 2011-12 Budget, with particular focus on children, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, those at risk of suicide and self-harm and those in low socioeconomic areas.

KidsMatter

KidsMatter is a mental health and wellbeing framework for primary schools and early childhood education and care services which supports mental health promotion, prevention and early intervention for all children.

Expand suicide prevention activities

The Department continued to implement suicide prevention projects to reduce the impact of suicide on individuals, families and communities. This included a focus on those groups identified as being at highest risk of suicide under the National Suicide Prevention Action Framework, such as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, men, people bereaved by suicide, and gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and inter-sex people.

In 2012-13, the Department continued to expand projects under the Taking Action to Tackle Suicide (TATS) package, including consulting with state and territory governments on the location of new sites to expand the StandBy Suicide Bereavement Response Service and Wesley LifeForce Community Networks. StandBy provides a 24 hour face-to-face response service for those bereaved by suicide, training for frontline emergency response services in the community, and coordination of suicide response services. The Wesley LifeForce program is a service which builds community capacity to engage in suicide prevention activity, improve access to appropriate services and support those at risk of suicide and bereaved by suicide. The TATS package comprises a mixture of suicide prevention specific activities and broader initiatives, which build on the National Suicide Prevention Program.

In addition, Australia’s first National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Suicide Prevention Strategy was released. The Strategy identifies six broad action areas:

  • Building strengths and capacity in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities;
  • Building strengths and resilience in individuals and families;
  • Targeted suicide prevention services;
  • Coordination approaches to prevention;
  • Building the evidence base and disseminating information; and
  • Standards and quality in suicide prevention.

The Strategy focuses on early intervention and building stronger communities with the aim of reducing the prevalence of suicide and the impact on individuals, their families and communities. New funding was provided in the 2013-14 Budget to implement key recommendations of the Strategy.

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Outcome 11 – Financial Resource Summary

Program (A) Budget Estimate 2012-13
$’000
(B) Actual 2012-13
$’000
Variation (Column B minus Column A)
$’000
Program 11.1: Mental Health 1
Administered Expenses
Ordinary Annual Services (Annual Appropriation Bill 1) 380,938 377,380 ( 3,558)
Departmental Expenses
Departmental Appropriation 2 18,588 18,691 103
Expenses not requiring appropriation in the current year 3 566 957 391
Total for Program 11.1 400,092 397,028 ( 3,064)
Outcome 11 Totals by appropriation type
Administered Expenses
Ordinary Annual Services (Annual Appropriation Bill 1) 380,938 377,380 ( 3,558)
Departmental Expenses
Departmental Appropriation 2 18,588 18,691 103
Expenses not requiring appropriation in the current year 3 566 957 391
Total expenses for Outcome 11 400,092 397,028 ( 3,064)
Average Staffing Level (Number) 130 130 -
  1. This program includes National Partnerships paid to state and territory governments by the Treasury as part of the Federal Financial Relations (FFR) Framework.
  2. Departmental appropriation combines 'Ordinary annual services (Appropriation Bill 1)' and 'Revenue from independent sources (s31)'.
  3. 'Expenses not requiring appropriation in the budget year' is made up of depreciation expense, amortisation, make good expense and audit fees. This estimate also includes approved operating losses - please refer to the departmental financial statements for further information.

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