The National Safety and Quality Digital Mental Health Standards (NSQDMH Standards), released in 2020 by the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care (ACSQHC), were developed in response to seeing a clear increase in the use of mental health services over digital channels. The aims of these Standards were to improve the quality of digital mental health service provision, and to protect service users and their support people from harm.
Now, in 2022 the ACSQHC have recently released a comprehensive guide for service providers, explaining each action discussed in the NSQDMH Standards in step-by-step detail, as well as their intention behind each action. The guide for service providers includes key tasks to help service providers meet the actions, together with examples of evidence a service can use to show how they are implementing the Standards. The Guide features reflective questions to help services evaluate how they are currently meeting the Standards and lists useful resources for further information and support.
The Guide was developed by the Commission’s former Senior Clinical Advisor, Dr Peggy Brown AO, in consultation with clinicians, consumers and carers, digital mental health service providers and accrediting agencies. It has been reviewed by a wide range of stakeholders including experts in privacy and cyber security, digital technology, public health ethics and clinical safety.
The Guide provides practical advice on how to implement the Digital Mental Health Standards to improve safety and quality and ensure the best possible service is provided. The Guide also enables service providers to reflect on their adherence to the Standards, providing invaluable assistance to providers who are attempting to improve their delivery of digital mental health care, but are lacking the means to judge their degree of success.