Key messages

  • National standards for mental health services provide a framework that apply to Victorian mental health services statewide.
  • The standards emphasise the desired outcomes, rights, dignity and empowerment of consumers and provide guidance for clinicians.
  • There are national implementation guidelines to assist in implement the standards in different services.

The 2010 National standards for mental health services (the standards) provide a framework for quality mental health care that is recovery focused, consumer and carer centric, integrated and evidenced based.

The standards apply to Victorian mental health services – public, private and non-government – and services that deliver mental health care in community and primary care settings.

Principles of the national standards

The standards use the following principles of care:

  • Mental health services should promote optimal quality of life.
  • Services are delivered with the aim of facilitating sustained recovery.
  • Consumers should be involved, as far as possible, in all decisions of treatment and care, and their treatment and setting.
  • Consumers have the right to have a nominated carer involved in all aspects of care.
  • Role, needs, capacity and requirement of carers are recognised.
  • Participation of consumers and carers in development, planning, delivery and evaluation of mental health services is encouraged.
  • Mental health treatment, care and support should be tailored to meet the specific needs of the consumer.
  • Mental health treatment, care and support should impose the least personal restrictions on rights and choices of the consumer.

The standards emphasise desired outcomes for people with a mental illness, their carers and the wider community. They reflect the rights, dignity and empowerment of individuals.

They also provide guidance on how to involve people with a mental illness, their families and carers in service planning, delivery, evaluation and improvement.

Accreditation

The standards are integrated with existing accreditation frameworks and processes for Victoria’s specialist mental health services – both clinical and the community support sectors.

Implementing the standards

Three national implementation guidelines provide clear directions for how to implement the standards in different services.