Implementation guidelines for private office based mental health practices

Standard 5: Promotion and prevention

Page last updated: October 2010

The MHS works in partnership with its community to promote mental health and address prevention of mental health problems and / or mental illness.

Suggested evidence


For office based practices this standard has limited applicability because of the nature of the service provided. However all attempts are made to ensure that the mental health services develop appropriate and effective activities to promote mental health and prevent mental health problems and/or mental illness.

This Standard should be read in conjunction with Standard 8 Governance, leadership and management.

Development of activities (Criterion 5.1)

Development of promotion and prevention activities will be influenced by the size, scope of services provided and the sector the MHS operates in, for example, public, private, or the non-government organisation sector.

The MHS should link their promotion and prevention strategies to the early intervention of mental health problems and/or mental illness in accordance with the key directions of the National mental health promotion, prevention and early intervention action plan (2000).

Strategies need to be developed that capture the needs of our culturally and socially diverse population. Mental health promotion and prevention initiatives from conception through to implementation and evaluation need to be designed for culturally and socially diverse population groups.

Strategies for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander populations should also be informed by the National Framework for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health (2003 – 2013) and based on established partnerships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander stakeholders.Top of page

Appropriate activities (Criterion 5.2)

To address this standard the MHS should consider establishing and maintaining partnerships with carers, consumers and relevant stakeholders to share and combine resources.

Collaborative partnerships (Criterion 5.3)

Collaborative partnerships should be considered with other appropriate internal and external stakeholders to clarify roles and coordinate efforts. Through partnerships responsibility is distributed and resources for addressing different components of the promotion and prevention effort shared.

Examples of sectors and settings include:
  • drug and alcohol services
  • youth sector
  • housing
  • employment
  • Centrelink
  • aged care services
  • health promotion/public health
  • local government
  • community services
  • churches and religious groups
  • schools
  • tertiary education sector
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander groups
  • divisions of general practice
  • multicultural groups
  • early childhood services
  • maternal and baby health services
  • media/celebrity
  • local councils.
The MHS should have links to programs aimed at preventing the development of co-morbid illness and maintaining good health in consumers, carers and staff. Top of page

Strategies to promote awareness of the relationship between mental and physical health include:
  • depression and anxiety awareness programs
  • early psychosis awareness programs
  • parent and family education programs
  • stress management programs
  • mental health in the workplace
  • mental health education in schools
  • smoking cessation programs
  • alcohol, tobacco and other drug services and/or programs
  • leisure skills programs
  • programs that promote social inclusion and healthy lifestyles, such as links with sporting and recreation clubs
  • provision of fact sheets, either online or print based, to consumers, carers and other service providers, for example, on exercise and mental health, mental health and heart disease, or sleep and mental health
  • joint community education programs such as with MHS and general practitioners
  • local action groups.

Workforce (Criterion 5.6)

Workforce development on mental health promotion and prevention will be relevant in larger office based practices. These include:
  • training programs
  • networking forums and planning workshops
  • attendance and presentations at conferences
  • mentoring and supervision
  • access to online clearing houses, journals, practical resources and training programmes
  • access to key experts for advice.
Top of page

Suggested evidence

Evidence that may be provided for this standard includes:
  • partnerships with relevant sectors or settings
  • promotional packages
  • identification of position responsible for promotion and prevention
  • workforce development
  • evidence of promotion and prevention strategies and plans
  • policies and procedures:
    • promotion and prevention
    • workforce training programs
    • mentoring and supervision.