Committees

Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Data Governance Forum

Background

The Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Data Governance Forum (MHSPDGF) has been established to oversee and facilitate the implementation of the data and performance measurement commitments specified in the National Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Agreement (the National Agreement).

MHSPDGF brings together Commonwealth, state and territory health representatives and key stakeholders including peak bodies, key organisations and lived experience representatives. The scope of the MHSPDGF is to agree on authorising frameworks and systems for data sharing and linking, improve national consistency in data collections, agree on appropriate measurement and monitoring methodologies to support evaluation of services and the mental health system and to provide technical advice on other relevant data and outcome activities.

Reporting structure

MHSPDGF reports to the Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Senior Officials Group as part of the National Agreement Governance Structure.

Terms of Reference

Under the National Agreement governance structure, the Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Data Governance Forum will:

  • Agree on authorising frameworks and systems for data sharing and linking activities undertaken under the National Agreement.
  • Improve national consistency in Commonwealth, state and territory data collections relevant to initiatives in the National Agreement and agree minimum data specifications for jointly funded programs.
  • Agree appropriate measurement and monitoring methodologies, including priority Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), to support evaluation of services and the mental health system against objectives and outcomes identified in the National Agreement.
  • Provide technical advice on other data and outcomes activities relevant to initiatives in the National Agreement, including the National Mental Health Service Planning Framework.

Membership

MHSPDGF bring together specialist and diverse knowledge holders. MHSPDGF members and observers bring with them a wide range of experience in issues related to mental health and suicide prevention.

The membership of MHSPDGF is endorsed annually by MHSPSOG. The current membership of the MHSPDGF consist of standing members, which are parties to the National Agreement, or where representation is specified in the National Agreement:

  • Co-Chair, Australian Government Department of Health and Aged Care
  • Co-Chair, NSW (nominated by state and territory health departments)
  • State and territory health department representatives
  • Australian Government Department of Health and Aged Care
  • Primary Health Network representatives
  • A mental health consumer representative
  • A mental health carer representative
  • A representative with lived experience of suicide
  • A First Nations lived experience representative
  • A First Nations data representative.

The MHSPDGF also includes appointed observers, which are agencies with the expertise necessary to progress the work the MHSPDGF oversees. Appointed observers:

  • Australian Institute of Health and Welfare
  • National Mental Health Commission
  • National Suicide Prevention Office
  • Australian Bureau of Statistics
  • Mental Health Australia
  • Suicide Prevention Australia

Secretariat

Secretariat support is provided by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, Mental Health Information & Evidence Refinement & Validation Unit, Canberra. The MHSPDGF secretariat can be contacted through [email protected].


National mental health landscape

National Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Agreement

The National Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Agreement (the National Agreement) came into effect in March 2022, and sets out the shared intention of the Commonwealth, state and territory governments to work in partnership to improve the mental health of all Australians, reduce the rate of suicide toward zero, and ensure the sustainability and enhance the services of the Australian mental health and suicide prevention system.

The National Agreement principles and objectives aim to:

  • Improve the availability and use of data and reporting to improve accountability and transparency.
  • Build an evidence base that sustains ongoing system improvement, including addressing evidence gaps and promoting the use of data,
  • Improve data collection and data sharing, with a focus on national consistency and balanced with reducing burdensome and duplicative data collection, sharing and reporting.
  • Support national data linkage and sharing of linked data, for use in policy, planning, commissioning, system management, evaluation and performance reporting.
  • Drive improvement of Australia’s mental health and suicide prevention system including through making use of national data assets to understand system performance.

Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Data Governance Forum

The Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Data Governance Forum (MHSPDGF) has been established under the National Agreement governance structure. The MHSPDGF will oversee and facilitate implementation of the data and performance measurement commitments specified in the National Agreement.

Previous intergovernmental structures

The Council of Australian Governments (COAG) was dissolved in May 2020 and was the primary Australian intergovernmental governance structure. Under the COAG governance structure, there were several mental health data committees and subcommittees that ceased when COAG was dissolved.

Mental Health Information Strategy Standing Committee

The Mental Health Information Strategy Standing Committee (MHISSC), established by the Australian Health Ministers' Advisory Council (AHMAC), provided advice on information and data issues to the Mental Health Principal Committee (MHPC) that addressed the information requirements of the National Mental Health Strategy.

National Mental Health Performance Subcommittee

The National Mental Health Performance Subcommittee (NMHPSC) was established by MHISSC to oversee the development and implementation of a national performance measurement framework for mental health services, to support benchmarking for mental health service improvement, and provide national information on mental health system performance.

National Mental Health Data Set Subcommittee

The National Mental Health Data Set Subcommittee (NMHDS SC) was established by MHISSC to oversee the development and implementation of the National Minimum Data Sets for mental health care.

National mental health committee publications

Under the auspices of COAG, MHISSC and its subcommittees authored a range of publications relating to national data and information.

Some key mental health publications are listed below. These and other publications can be found at Mental health services in Australia, National mental health committee publications - Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (aihw.gov.au))

National Mental Health Performance Framework (58KB DOCX)

The objective of the National Health Performance Framework is to improve all health outcomes for Australians living with mental illness and ensure sustainability of the Australian health system.

National Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Information Priorities 3rd edition (346KB PDF)

This document sets out a vision for national mental health information in Australia for the coming decade. It outlines key priorities for development and provides strategies to achieve this vision and works alongside a range of other documents and strategies. Together they aim to ensure that mental health consumers and carers and people with lived experience of suicide are central to the way in which services are planned, delivered and evaluated.

Key Performance Indicator for Australian Public Mental Health Services, 3rd edition (3.1MB PDF)

Collates the development and activity delivering the most current set, and specifications, of KPIs for use in Australia's public mental health system.

Archived publications