National Standards for Mental Health Services

The National Standards for Mental Health Services (NSMHS) aims to effectively develop and implement appropriate practices, and guide continuous quality improvement in mental health services.

Across the health and community sectors, service delivery is influenced by a number of different quality, safety and performance frameworks. The Standards represent only one component of this environment which includes specific state and sector legislation, associated regulation, professional regulation, accreditation and employment conditions, purchasing and funding agreements, government policy, service development and accreditation

What Is It?

The NSMHS can be used in both clinical and community settings.

Where the NSMHS is used in addition to the National Safety and Quality Health Service standards, SAI Global’s audit approach recognizes the gaps between these two standards to simplify your audit process. In some states (eg. Queensland), the NSMHS is required for community based mental health services, although the Human Service Quality Standards (Queensland) may also be used.
NSMHS Focus

These National Standards for Mental Health Services focus on:

  • How services are delivered
  • Whether they comply with relevant legislation and regulatory requirements
  • Whether they meet the required standards and expectations of clients
  • Whether they have procedures and practices in place to monitor and govern effectively
  • Especially in areas that may be associated with risks to the client or the organization and its staff
NSMHS Applicability

The Standards apply to the broad range of mental health services that make up the mental health sector, including:

  • Bed-based and community mental health services
  • Clinical and non-government sectors
  • Private sector
  • Primary care and general practice

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