Patterns of Mental Healthcare Provision in Urban Areas: A Comparative Analysis for Informing Local Policy

Mary Anne Furst, Jose Salinas Perez, Mencia R. Gutierrez-Colosia, John Mendoza, Nasser Bagheri, Lauren Anthes, Luis Salvador-Carulla

Research output: Working paperPreprint

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Urbanisation presents specific challenges for the mental wellbeing of the population. An understanding of availability of existing service provision in urban areas is necessary to plan for the needs of people with mental illness in these contexts to identify gaps in care provision and inform policy and planning. This study aims to provide an analysis of the availability and diversity of mental health care in urban areas in Australia , and compare it with benchmark areas in Europe (Finland and Spain) and South America (Chile).


DESDE-LTC, an instrument for service classification and description of services providing long term care was used to analyse and compare service provision in Australia (Australian Capital Territory (ACT)), to other urban areas in Australia (Western Sydney, Perth North and South East Sydney) and to benchmark areas in other countries (Spain, Finland and Chile), using a standard healthcare ecosystems approach. Services from all relevant care sectors were calculated per 100,000 adults.


We identified commonalities in the pattern of mental health care in urban regions in Australia when compared to urban regions internationally, as well as gaps in care provision common to all study areas.


These results highlight the relevance of an ecosystems approach to service planning in mental health care at the local level, and the use of a standardised instrument able to provide valid comparisons. There is a need for models of care sensitive to mental health care ecosystem indicators.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages15
Publication statusPublished - 21 Sept 2020
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameResearch Square


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