The National Standards for Mental Health Services (NSMHS)

The NSMHS, which are owned by the Commonwealth Department of Health, were first introduced in 1996 to assist in the development and implementation of appropriate practices and guide continuous quality improvement in mental health services. A review of these commenced in November 2006, resulting in the release of the 2010 National Standards for Mental Health Services which are still in use today.

The NSMHS were developed to be applied across the broad range of mental health services, which includes bed based and community mental health services, those in the clinical and non-government sectors, those in the private sector and also those in primary care and general practice. They are not intended to apply to services where mental health is not the main focus of care, such as generic community services which support people with a range of disabilities, or generic aged care services. 

The ACHS assessment process for the National Standards for Mental Health Services (2010)

ACHS provides assessment services for the NSMHS 2010, offering health services two assessment models from which to choose:

1. Integrated Assessment
ACHS offers an integrated assessment to those health services that are accredited under EQuIP6, or the National Safety and Quality Health Service (NSQHS) Standards. Under this assessment model the mapped NSMHS criteria are reviewed under the corresponding action/criteria of EQuIP6 or NSQHS Standards (2nd edition) with only the unmapped NSMHS criteria requiring additional assessment.

2. Standalone Assessment
ACHS offers a standalone assessment for those health services that prefer an in-depth review of all applicable NSMHS criteria or are not accredited under EQuIP6 or NSQHS Standards (2nd edition).