Fourth national mental health plan: an agenda for collaborative government action in mental health 2009-2014

This document sets an agenda for collaborative government action in mental health for five years from 2009, offers a framework to develop a system of care that is able to intervene early and provide integrated services across health and social domains, and provides guidance to governments in considering future funding priorities for mental health.

Page last updated: 2009

The plan

Fourth national mental health plan: an agenda for collaborative government action in mental health 2009-2014 (online)
PDF version: Fourth national mental health plan: an agenda for collaborative government action in mental health 2009-2014 (PDF 885 KB large file)

The same publication in smaller sections:

Cover pages (PDF 81 KB)
Table of contents (PDF 25 KB)
Foreword (PDF 56 KB)
Summary of priority areas, outcomes and actions (PDF 88 KB)
The fourth national mental health plan (PDF 111 KB)
Setting the context (PDF 497 KB)
Priority area 1: Social inclusion and recovery (PDF 115 KB)
Priority area 2: Prevention and early intervention (PDF 118 KB)
Priority area 3: Service access, coordination and continuity of care (PDF 110 KB)
Priority area 4: Quality improvement and innovation (PDF 108 KB)
Priority area 5: Accountability - measuring and reporting progress (PDF 122 KB)
Appendix 1: A partnership approach (PDF 125 KB)
Appendix 2: Technical notes on indicators to monitor the fourth national mental health plan (PDF 110 KB)
Glossary of key terms (PDF 93 KB)

To obtain a hard-copy of this publication, please contact National Mailing and Marketing on (02) 6269 1080 or health@nationalmailing.com.au. The code for this publication is MH244.

Implementation

An implementation strategy for the fourth plan was agreed by the Australian Health Ministers' Conference in December 2010 and is available on the Mental Health Standing Committee website (see end of publications list). This high level document articulates a process for developing detailed implementation for each action. Top of page

Background

The fourth plan, launched by the Australian Health Ministers' Conference in November 2009, is the product of twelve months of development work including a comprehensive stakeholder consultation process.

Endorsement of the plan represents commitment by all governments to implementation of the following vision for mental health set out in the National Mental Health Policy 2008:

"… a mental health system that enables recovery, that prevents and detects mental illness early and ensures that all Australians with a mental illness can access effective and appropriate treatment and community support to enable them to participate fully in the community."

The plan identifies key actions that will make meaningful progress towards fulfilling the vision of the policy. While led by health ministers the plan takes a whole of government approach through involving sectors other than just health. The plan provides a basis for governments to advance mental health activities within the various portfolio areas in a more integrated way, recognising that many sections can contribute to better outcomes for people living with mental illness.

The plan has five priority areas for government action in mental health:

  1. Social inclusion and recovery
  2. Prevention and early intervention
  3. Service access, coordination and continuity of care
  4. Quality improvement and innovation and
  5. Accountability - measuring and reporting progress.
The plan is ambitious in its approach and for the first time includes a robust accountability framework. Each year, governments report progress on implementation of the plan to the Council of Australian Governments. The plan includes indicators for monitoring change in the way the mental health system is working for people living with mental illness as well as their families and carers. Top of page

Page last reviewed: 25 March 2013

In this section

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