Development of a Report Card for Mental Health and Suicide Prevention

Project Info


  • National Mental Health Commission

Client Type

  • Government entity

Financial Year

  • 2011-12

Health Area

  • Mental health

Service Provided

  • Health informatics


  • National

The National Mental Health Commission (NMHC) commenced operations in January 2012. The role of the NMHC is to provide independent strategic and practical advice to Government on mental health reform, based on evidence of the mental health system’s performance across all jurisdictions. The Commission engaged HMA to develop options for the content and format of the National Report Card on Mental Health and Suicide Prevention (the Report Card). The aim of the Report Card is to measure and give greater transparency to how the systems which provide support and care are performing for mental health consumers, their families and carers, service providers, governments and other stakeholders. An important feature of the Report Card was to take a whole of life focus and report across several domains including physical health and well-being, social support, housing, education and employment.

The methodology for designing the structure and content of the Report Card involved the following stages:

  • Environmental scan: HMA undertook desktop reviews to explore options for design of the Report Card. Key tasks were to review existing Australian information and examples of ‘gold standard’ reporting for consumers and carers in Australia and overseas.
  • Extensive stakeholder consultation with key stakeholders regarding the options for content, data sources, structure and design of the Report Card
  • Survey data collection: additional data and feedback was collected to ensure the wider Australian community had an opportunity to have their say about the Report Card design. This included a national online survey and the creation and management of an online discussion forum to enable members of key stakeholder groups to provide ongoing feedback
  • Indicator assessment and development: detailed specifications of a suite of draft indicators were developed for consideration by the Commission. Draft indicators were assessed against a range of criteria including – relevance to mental health ‘whole of life domains’, accessibility, contestability, cost, sustainability and developmental effort
  • Formulate preliminary design specification: a draft of the Report Card incorporating feedback from the consultation process was prepared, and
  • Final blueprint specification and implementation plan: HMA finalised a blueprint specification for the Report Card and developed an implementation plan.

The project commenced in March 2012 and was completed in June 2012.