Funded by: Australian Government Department of Health

Lead Investigator: Dr Sandra Diminic

Project Team: Claudia Sparti, Isabelle Hull, Arabella Mundie, Charlotte Woody, Imogen Page, Kate Gossip

Resources: National Mental Health Workforce Strategy

This data analysis project will examine current workforce supply against current and future workforce demand generated by the National Mental Health Service Planning Framework (NMHSPF).

The aims of the project are to:

• Estimate Australia’s current mental health workforce supply by drawing on available data and grey literature;
• Identify workforce data gaps, including options to address these gaps; and
• Conduct a comparative analysis with the NMHSPF to better understand current and future mental health workforce supply and demand.

The NMHSPF is an evidence-based tool designed to guide mental health service planning in Australia, by estimating need for mental health services in the population and the types and quantities of care required to meet the needs of different groups. The NMHSPF-Planning Support Tool (NMHSPF-PST) produces national average resource targets for optimal service delivery, including workforce requirements in the form of full-time equivalent (FTE) staff counts.

The Project will be used to inform the development of the Australian Government’s new 10-year National Mental Health Workforce Strategy. The purpose of the Strategy is to consider the quality, supply, distribution and structure of the mental health workforce as it currently stands and identify practical approaches for ensuring that the workforce can meet the demands of the mental health system in the future.

The development of the Strategy is being overseen by an independent National Mental Health Workforce Strategy Taskforce, with a report and recommendations to be provided to the Australian Government in late 2020 and the final Strategy provided by 30 June 2021. The Project aims to support the work of the Taskforce by undertaking data analyses to estimate the current workforce supply and compare this to the optimal resource requirements (demand) projected by the NMHSPF.

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