Australian Health Review Australian Health Review Society
Journal of the Australian Healthcare & Hospitals Association

Changing the face of mental health care through needs-based planning

Gavin Andrews and Nickolai Titov

Australian Health Review 31(5) 122 - 128
Published: 2007


Mental disorders contribute to the burden of human disease. The National Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing revealed low participation in treatment. The Tolkien II report provided evidence that a mental health service that utilised needsbased stepped care was likely to be effective and affordable to the point that a 30% increase in budget would treat 60% more people and produce a 90% increase in health gain. Five priorities were identified: ¦ Solve the crisis in psychosis by providing more step-down beds for people with schizophrenia who need long-term accommodation. ¦ Educate the workforce by providing a nationwide web-based basic curriculum. ¦ Use clinician guided, step-down web-based therapy for patients who are mild or moderate, and web-based education to enhance clinical treatment for patients who are more severe. ¦ Educate patients and their families about treatments that work and about lifestyle changes that facilitate these treatments. ¦ Reduce the onset of common mental disorders by using proven web-based prevention programs in schools. With resources such as these in place, changing the face of mental health care might just be within our reach.

© AHHA 2007

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