Implementation guidelines for non-government community services

Standard 5. Promotion and prevention

Page last updated: 2010

The MHS works in partnership with its community to promote mental health and address prevention of mental health problems and/or mental illness.

The intent of this standard is to ensure that service providers develop appropriate and effective activities for promotion of mental health and prevention of mental health problems and/or mental illness. For the majority of non government community mental health services promotion and prevention activities will not be a core funded role, but a secondary activity to support primary activities.

This standard should be read in conjunction with standard 8 governance, leadership and management.

Development of activities (criterion 5.1) (partially applicable to the sector)
Appropriate activities (criterion 5.2) (partially applicable to the sector)
Collaborative partnerships (criterion 5.3)
Coordination of partnerships (criterion 5.4)
Workforce (criterion 5.6) (partially applicable to the sector)

Development of activities (criterion 5.1) (partially applicable to the sector)

Development of promotion and prevention activities will be influenced by the size and scope of services provided and the sector in which the service provider operates. Some will be specifically funded to undertake promotion and prevention activities. Most will undertake promotional activities to support core service delivery activities, for example through involvement in Mental Health Week, Schizophrenia Awareness Week or Carers Week, rather than as a stand alone core function.

Evidence that this criterion is met could include:
  • promotion and prevention activities appropriate to target groups, funding and core services.

Appropriate activities (criterion 5.2) (partially applicable to the sector)

As for criterion 5.1, activities will be influenced by the size, scope of services provided and the sector in which the service provider operates.

Evidence that this criterion is met could include:
  • conducting promotion and prevention activities appropriate to the target group and core services
  • participating in awareness raising and community education activities as part of Mental Health Week, Schizophrenia Awareness Week and Carers Week. Top of page

Collaborative partnerships (criterion 5.3)

Service providers which do not have promotion and prevention activities as part of their core funding roles should consider local opportunities to work in collaboration with other mental health and related services areas, including carer support service providers. Collaborative partnerships help to distribute responsibility and share resources to address different components of the promotion and prevention effort.

Partnerships can also be developed with mainstream organisations, around the needs of particular groups of consumers - for example sporting or recreational clubs, universities or TAFE colleges, or community arts centres - to promote community re-entry and healthy lifestyles for consumers as part of their recovery.

Service providers could also link to the acute or post acute public or private mental health service that is meeting the consumer's medical and medication needs. They could also link to programs aimed at preventing the development of co-morbid illness and maintaining good health in consumers, carers and staff.

Evidence that this criterion is met could include:
  • collaborating with others to conduct promotion and prevention activities appropriate to shared target groups and core services
  • partnerships with mainstream community services to promote the social inclusion and healthy lifestyle of people recovering from mental illness
  • collaborative partnerships with related community service sectors such as drug and alcohol services, Indigenous and multicultural services, youth services and housing, to raise awareness and educate the community as part of Mental Health Week, Schizophrenia Awareness Week, Carers Week and other relevant local, state, territory and national events
  • collaborative partnerships with public and private acute and post acute mental health services
  • service provider representation on inter-sectoral reference groups, external committees and boards involved in promotion and prevention activities
  • providing fact sheets that promote a healthy lifestyle, either online or print based, for consumers and carers and other service providers, on topics such as exercise and mental health or mental health and heart disease. Top of page

Coordination of partnerships (criterion 5.4)

Service providers should have mechanisms to demonstrate coordination of partnerships for promotion and prevention activities.

Evidence that this criterion is met could include:
  • documented roles and responsibilities of organisations and individuals involved in the partnerships and collaborations
  • minutes of meetings
  • plans that identify goals, objectives, actions and evaluation strategies.

Workforce (criterion 5.6) (partially applicable to the sector)

Workforce development on mental health promotion and prevention will be a primary focus for services funded for this role but a secondary focus for most non-government providers of community mental health services for which promotion and prevention activities are an adjunct to their core programs.

Evidence that this criterion is met could include:
  • documenting promotion and prevention training for staff
  • staff participation in networking forums and planning workshops
  • board, staff, consumer and carer attendance and presentations at conferences that have prevention and promotion as a theme.
Policies and procedures to demonstrate compliance with standard 5 will include but not necessarily be limited to those that address:
  • conditions for promotional and prevention partnerships with applicable sectors or settings
  • commitment to engaging with mainstream community organisations such as sporting and recreational clubs, educational facilities, community employers and arts organisations as part of promoting recovery and community re-entry.
It is important to remember that policies and procedures alone are not sufficient to demonstrate that a service provider is meeting the standard's requirements. It is also necessary to demonstrate how the policies and procedures have been implemented and guide organisational practices and behaviours.