B. Additional Information

Evaluations currently underway or recently completed – as at 26 March 2021

Department of Health, answer to question taken on notice, 18 March 2021 (received 12 April 2021).
1
HeadtoHelp mental health clinics Victoria – COVID-19
Brief description
The HeadtoHelp clinics are part of the Australian Government’s mental health package to further enhance the mental health support available to Victorians during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The HeadtoHelp clinics opened on 14 September 2020 and are a free service that improve accessibility for Victorians who need mental health support and provide additional capacity within the mental health system through relieving pressure on existing mental health services.
Evaluation summary
Status: in progress
The Department of Health has commissioned Nous as the independent evaluator of the HeadtoHelp initiative in Victoria to evaluate impact and target any emerging mental health needs.
The evaluation will also consider the establishment phase of the Adult Mental Health Centres trial.
2
Adult Mental Health Centres (AMHC) trial
Brief description
The Australian Government is investing in a trial of eight Adult Mental Health Centres, with one to be established in each state and territory. The design of the Centres is to provide a welcoming, low stigma, ‘no wrong door’ entry point for adults to access mental health information, services and supports through a multidisciplinary team operating over extended hours without needing a prior appointment or paying a fee.
The Centres will trial service navigation approaches to help connect people to other services in the region which will meet their needs and provide immediate support for people experiencing significant distress or who are in crisis.
Evaluation summary
Status: in progress
The Department of Health has commissioned Nous as the independent evaluator of the AMHC trial establishment phase, in parallel with the evaluation of HeadtoHelp clinics.
3
Digital Mental Health (National Digital Mental Health Framework)
Brief description
In line with Action 32 of the Fifth National Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan, the Government is leading development of a National Digital Mental Health Framework (the Framework) to guide investment in online and digital services which can support the mental health of Australians.
Evaluation summary
Status: in progress
PriceWaterhouseCooper has been engaged to develop the Framework, including a review of the current digital mental health service landscape and challenges and barriers being experienced.
The project will contribute to implementation of future strategic directions in digital mental health.
4
National headspace program
Brief description
The National headspace Program aims to improve access for young people aged 12 to 25 years who have, or are at risk of, mental illness. The network of headspace services provide holistic care in four key areas: mental health, related physical health, alcohol and other drug use and, social and vocational support.
Evaluation summary
Status: in progress
KPMG, in consortium with batyr and the Social Policy Research Centre of the University of NSW, has been engaged to deliver an independent evaluation of the National headspace network.
The evaluation is considering the understanding and effectiveness of headspace; the relative cost‐effectiveness and value of headspace; and factors affecting future implementation, sustainability and enhancement of headspace.
5
National Support for Child and Youth Mental Health Program
Brief description
The National Support for Child and Youth Mental Health Program aims to improve mental health outcomes for children and young people, commencing with the early years and going through to adolescence.
Evaluation summary
Status: in progress
University of Queensland (UQ), is undertaking an overarching evaluation of the National Support for Child and Youth Mental Health Program (the Program).
The evaluation will analyse the extent to which the Mental Health in Education and the National Workforce Support in Child Mental Health initiatives contribute to achieving the aims and objectives of the Program, and assess the Program’s appropriateness, effectiveness, and cost effectiveness and identify opportunities to strengthen or improve the Program to meet its intended objectives.
6
Early Psychosis Youth Service (EPYS) Program
Brief description
The EPYS Program aims to reduce the incidence and severity of psychosis within the community through prevention, early detection and coordinated care delivery. EPYS provides integrated early intervention treatment and intensive support to young people aged 12 to 25 years who are at ultra-high risk of, or are experiencing, a first episode psychosis.
The program is currently delivered through the headspace network in Western Sydney, South Eastern Queensland, North Perth, South Eastern Melbourne, Darwin and Adelaide.
Evaluation summary
Status: complete
Ernst & Young (EY), in consortium with the George Institute for Global Health and the University of Sydney, conducted an evaluation of the EPYS Program.
The evaluation examined the appropriateness, effectiveness, efficiency and equity of the program to determine its impact and inform future policy decisions.
7
Psychosocial Support Programs
Brief description
The Australian Government funds psychosocial support services that aim to assist people with severe mental illness, who are not accessing psychosocial support through the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), to live independently at an optimal level in the community.
An evaluation of the Commonwealth component of the National Psychosocial Support Measure and the Continuity of Support program has been undertaken. An evaluation of the Commonwealth component of the National Psychosocial Support Measure and the Continuity of Support program has been commissioned.
Evaluation summary
Status: in progress
Nous Group has been engaged to conduct an evaluation of the National Psychosocial Support Measure (NPS-M) and Continuity of Support programs.
8
Better Access to Psychiatrists, Psychologists and General Practitioners through the MBS initiative (Better Access)
Brief description
Better Access aims to improve outcomes for people with a clinically-diagnosed mental disorders by increasing community access to team-based, multi-disciplinary mental health care.
Evaluation summary
Status: in progress
November 30 2020, the Government announced it would undertake a comprehensive evaluation of the Better Access initiative in line with the recommendation in the Productivity Commission inquiry into mental health. The evaluation will consider: evidence-based treatment and interventions available under Better Access; eligible providers, levels of treatment and special access arrangements; and qualitative and quantitative data to determine patient outcomes and provider experience.
9
Improving Social Connectedness Pilot
Brief description
The Improving Social Connectedness Pilot funds the Perth South and Nepean Blue Mountains PHNs, in partnership with Australia College of Mental Health Nurses to design, develop and deliver a two year pilot to improve social connectedness and reduce the risk of mental and physical health problems in older people over 75 years (and Indigenous Australians over 65 years).
Evaluation summary
Status: in progress
University of Wollongong is conducting an evaluation of the pilot.
Key considerations include the pilot's appropriateness, outcomes, cost effectiveness and lessons learnt.
10
Drought measure - Trusted Advocates initiative
Brief description
The Drought measure provides additional informal mental health support and referral pathways to individuals affected by the drought.
Evaluation summary
Status: in progress
University of Wollongong has been engaged to conduct an evaluation of the Trusted Advocates initiative.
The evaluation will enable a qualitative review of impact of volunteer, localised community-based support to people in drought affected communities.
11
National Suicide Prevention Leadership and Support Program
Brief description
The National Suicide Prevention Leadership and Support Program funds a total of 18 suicide prevention projects with the aim of reducing suicide and suicidal behaviour in the Australian population.
Projects are funded across five activity streams: national leadership in suicide prevention (one project); national leadership in suicide prevention research (one project); Centre of Best Practice in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander suicide prevention (one project); national media and communications activities (seven projects); and national support services for individuals at risk of suicide (eight projects).
Evaluation summary
Status: in progress
KPMG has been engaged to undertake an evaluation and review of the program with the aim of providing advice on how the program
The final report was provided on 24 March 2021 and is being considered the by the Department.
12
National Suicide Prevention Trial
Brief description
The trial implements a systems-based approach to suicide prevention through the 12 National Suicide Prevention Trial sites. Each site is focusing on an at-risk population, such as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, LGBTIQ people, youth, men, veterans and older people.
Evaluation summary
Status: in progress
The University of Melbourne conducted an evaluation of the National Suicide Prevention Trial.
The final report submitted in December 2020 is being considered by the Department.
KPMG has been engaged to undertake the analysis of suicide prevention trial evaluation findings across the trial activity that has been underway across the country (Victoria and Lifespan in NSW and the ACT in addition to the Commonwealth trials.
13
StandBy Support After Suicide
Brief description
The StandBy Support After Suicide service provides coordinated postvention support to individuals and communities impacted by suicide.
Evaluation summary
Status: complete
StandBy commissioned their own independent evaluation in 2018. https://standbysupport.com.au/evaluation
14
Way Back Support Service
Brief description
The Way Back Support Service provides non-clinical, assertive outreach, follow up care and practical support to individuals after a suicide attempt or suicidal crisis.
Evaluation summary
Status: in progress
Beyond Blue has directly contracted Nous to undertake an evaluation of the Way Back Support Service.
15
National Initial Assessment and Referral in Mental Healthcare Project (IAR Project)
Brief description
The IAR guidance and decision-support tool is designed to assist clinicians to assess and assign an appropriate level of care for a person seeking mental health support. Information gathered through initial assessment is used to recommend a service type and intensity (level of care), inform a referral decision and support consumer choice.
The IAR Project engaged nine Primary Health Networks to trial implementation of the IAR guidance and toolkit in primary care settings.
Evaluation summary
Status: complete
The National IAR Implementation Review (the review) conducted by the University of Melbourne.
The review provided the Department of Health with an evidence base to stepped care initial assessment from the practical perspective and a standardised approach to support and validate clinical decision making.
16
Primary Health Network (PHN) Mental Health Reform Lead Site Project
Brief description
Ten PHNs (referred to as ‘Lead Sites’) were selected to act as mental health improvement leaders in the following focus areas: (1) Regional planning and service integration; (2) Stepped care (offering a range of treatments, from the least to the most resource intensive, matched to the individual’s needs); (3) Low intensity services; (4) Services for youth with, or at risk of, severe mental illness; and (5) Clinical care coordination for adults with severe and complex mental illness.
Evaluation summary
Status: complete
The evaluation, conducted by the University of Melbourne, provided the Department of Health with an evidence base on effective approaches to planning, integration and delivery of mental health services.

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