The National Mental Health Service Planning Framework (NMHSPF) is an iterative model and will continue to be updated to reflect contemporary best-practice care and changes in epidemiology.

Alt text: Timeline of projects and work undertaken in the development, creation, and future of the NMHSPF. Dated from 2009 to 2022

Chart: The University of Queensland

Source: Introduction to the NMHSPF V4.3

The NMHSPF was first developed between 2011 and 2013 under the Fourth National Mental Health Plan. This plan committed to ‘develop a national service planning framework that establishes targets for the mix and level of the full range of mental health services, backed by innovative funding models'.

Between 2014 and 2016, the NMHSPF was provided to all states and territories to test the NMHSPF in real-world service planning environments. The University of Queensland was commissioned to incorporate feedback from this testing phase into the NMHSPF.

The NMHSPF version 2.0 (V2.0) was later endorsed as part of the Fifth National Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan before a large-scale training roll-out was designed and delivered by the University of Queensland.

In 2018, the Department of Health commissioned the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) to transition the NMHSPF Planning Support Tool (NMHSPF-PST) to an online Tableau environment. Tableau is an interactive data visualisation tool that increases flexibility and access to the planning tool.

The Tableau NMHSPF-PST was first released in April 2019, and has undergone several revisions to incorporate enhancements to the modelling and updates to population estimates, with the most recent revision (V4.3) released in June 2023.