National Safety and Quality Digital Mental Health Standards

The Commission is undertaking a project, on behalf of the Australian Government Department of Health, to develop National Safety and Quality Digital Mental Health (NSQDMH) Standards.

The Commission is developing National Safety And Quality Digital Mental Health (NSQDMH) Standards in collaboration with consumers, carers, clinicians, service providers and technical experts to address key safety and quality risks for digital mental health service users.

The development of the NSQDMH Standards is a significant first step in providing safety and quality assurance for digital mental health service users, and best practice guidance for service providers and developers.

Tips for choosing a digital mental health service

It can be a challenge to decide if a digital mental health service is the right one for you to use or to recommend.

The Commission has developed tip sheets for consumers, carers and clinicians to help them to choose a digital mental health service.

The Commission also developed a checklist that consumers and carers can use to consider the key questions outlined in the tip sheet in a bit more detail before choosing a service.

Consultation has now closed

Consultation on the draft NSQDMH Standards closed on Friday 29 May 2020.

The Commission will review the feedback and provide a final draft of the NSQDMH Standards to the Australian Government Department of Health for approval in June 2020.

You can still download the draft NSQDMH Standards here, noting that this version is subject to change:

Consultation forums

In March-May 2020 the Commission held 13 online forums and four webinars to support the consultation process for the NSQDMH Standards. The Commission also sought feedback through an online survey.

You can view a video presentation on the NSQDMH Standards by Dr Peggy Brown AO, Senior Clinical Advisor, or download the presentation slides:

What is a digital mental health service?

The Commission defines a digital mental health service as a mental health, suicide prevention, or alcohol and other drugs service that uses technology to facilitate engagement and the delivery of care.

This includes information, digital counselling, treatment and peer to peer support services delivered via telephone, videoconference, websites, SMS, webchat, and mobile applications (apps).

You can access a range of digital mental health services on the Australian Government’s digital mental health gateway Head to Health.

Background

Digital mental health services have seen significant growth over the past decade, offering new and innovative ways for consumers and carers to access services. Digital services may be easier to access than face-to-face services, and sometimes can be accessed anonymously to protect user identity.1

In 2018-19, the Commission spoke to consumers, carers, clinicians, service providers and experts about how to build user confidence, increase adoption rates, and enhance consumer and carer empowerment and choice in digital mental health services.

Stakeholders from across the digital mental health sector supported the development of National Safety and Quality Digital Mental Health Standards.

For further information on this project, please refer to the documents below.

Contact

For more information on the project please contact: Ben Prest, Senior Project Officer at: DMHS@safetyandquality.gov.au


[1] Department of Health. Australian Government Response to Contributing Lives, Thriving Communities – Review of Mental Health Programmes and Services. Canberra: Commonwealth of Australia, 2015