The NMHSPF model brings together the best available evidence and expert opinion on:
- the prevalence of mental illness and need for mental health services.
- the types and levels of mental health care required for different need groups.
- efficient standards of health service operation to deliver this care.
Based on this information, the model determines the resources required to deliver adequate mental health services to specific population groups. These groups include a nominal population of 100,000 people for each age group, or selected population regions such as Australia, a state or territory, local hospital networks or primary health networks.
The NMHSPF model outlines how many people need mental health care (epidemiology), the types of services needed (taxonomy) and the volume of specific services required (care profiles and top ups) by different groups of people.
This is combined with information on service staffing (workforce and funder type) and operations (modelling parameters) to produce resource targets such as the number of hospital beds required.
Chart: The University of Queensland
Source: Introduction to the National Mental Health Service Planning Framework v4.0
The NMHSPF starts with classifying the Australian average population into ‘need groups’. Need groups are based on severity of mental health diagnosis or other identified mental health need, and functioning.
The epidemiology estimates the number of people within each need group who may require mental health services in a year, by age and level of severity. It sets service demand targets for those who require intervention.
The video below provides more information about the scope, definition of a need group, data sources, severity, demand for services and other additional factors. Detailed information is also available in the Documentation section.
Video: Need for mental health services