Integrated mental health atlas of the Western Sydney Local Health District: Gaps and recommendations

Ana Fernandez, James A. Gillespie, Jennifer Smith-Merry, Xiaoqi Feng, Thomas Astell-Burt, Cailin Maas, Luis Salvador-Carulla

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objective. Australian mental health care remains hospital centric and fragmented; it is riddled with gaps and does little to promote recovery. Reform must be built on better knowledge of the shape of existing services. Mental health atlases are an essential part of this knowledge base, enabling comparison with other regions and jurisdictions, but must be based on a rigorous classification of services. The main aim of this study is to create an integrated mental health atlas of the Western Sydney LHD in order to help decision makers to better plan informed by local evidence. Methods. The standard classification system, namely the Description and Evaluation of Services and Directories in Europe for Long-term Care model, was used to describe and classify adult mental health services in the Western Sydney Local Health District (LHD). This information provided the foundation for accessibility maps and the analysis of the provision of care for people with a lived experience of mental illness in Western Sydney LHD. All this data was used to create the Integrated Mental Health Atlas of Western Sydney LHD. Results. The atlas identified four major gaps in mental health care in Western Sydney LHD: (1) a lack of acute and sub-acute community residential care; (2) an absence of services providing acute day care and non-acute day care; (3) low availability of specific employment services for people with a lived experience of mental ill-health; and (4) a lack of comprehensive data on the availability of supported housing. Conclusions. The integrated mental health atlas of the Western Sydney LHD provides a tool for evidence-informed planning and critical analysis of the pattern of adult mental health care.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)38-44
Number of pages7
JournalAustralian Health Review
Volume41
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Externally publishedYes

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