Need for Local Planning
The recent National Review of Mental Health Programmes and Services by the National Mental Health Commission has drawn attention to the need of local planning of care for people with a lived experience of mental illness. The NSW Commission’s plan indicates that the current mental health system is highly fragmented, difficult to navigate and characterised by disjointed policy, financing and service delivery systems at national and state levels.
For good risk service planning in this complex environment it is important to know not only how many services there are, but also what are they doing and where they are located. It is also important to have a standard basis for analysis to design evidence-informed planning. Within this context, Atlases of Health are essential tools for decision making and quality assessment.
The study was conducted by researchers from the University of Sydney’s Mental Health Policy Unit – Brain and Mind Research Institute, with support from the University of Western Sydney’s School of Science and Health and the University of Wollongong’s School of Health and Society. The primary researchers involved are:
- Professor Luis Salvador-Carulla, Brain and Mind Research Institute and the Faculty of Health Sciences
- Dr Ana Fernandez, Brain and Mind Research Institute and the Faculty of Health Sciences
The Atlas and its findings
The Atlas of Mental Health Services SWS revealed some strengths and some gaps in the provision of mental health care in South Western Sydney. The information in this Atlas highlights key areas for system improvement in the provision of mental health services in South Western Sydney that are in line with the recent report of the National Review of Mental Health Programmes and Services made by the National Mental Health Commission.
Policy makers and service providers can use the information presented in this Atlas to develop service plans which are better informed by local-evidence and to reform the pattern of adult mental health care in South Western Sydney LHD.