The Queensland Centre for Mental Health Research’s Mental Health Systems and Services research stream conducts research to better understand current mental health service delivery, and to apply evidence to inform the planning of mental health services and system reform.

A major focus of this research stream is the technical development and user capacity building of the National Mental Health Service Planning Framework, a population mental health planning tool developed in collaboration between the Australian Government’s Department of Health and state and territory governments.

Other key areas of research include reviewing evidence-based approaches to service delivery, analysing the need for and utilisation of mental health services, real world evaluation of innovative mental health service models and programs, and applied research projects to inform mental health planning work for governments.

Current Projects

The Group is currently involved in a number of mental health research projects with the Australian Government’s Department of Health and the Queensland Mental Health Alcohol and Other Drugs Branch.

As part of the National Mental Health Service Planning Framework, the Group is also working to build the capacity of end users to apply the tool for their planning. Examples of some of this work can be found here.

Other ongoing projects include the evaluation of an integrated community-based mental health service and work to understand the quality of treatment received by people with severe mental illness as part of the Centre of Research Excellence in Mental Health Systems Improvement.

The team recently completed a project to understand the characteristics and role of informal carers for people with mental illness and to provide an economic valuation of their caring.

Group Members

Sandra Diminic

Diana Beere

Kate Gossip

Emily Hielscher

Imogen Page

Kevin Fjeldsoe

RECENT Publications

Journal Articles (2013-2016)

Whiteford, H., Buckingham, B., Harris, M., Diminic, S., Stockings, E., & Degenhardt, L. (2016). Estimating the number of adults with severe and persistent mental illness who have complex, multi-agency needs. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, published online 21 December 2016, doi: 10.1177/0004867416683814.

Charlson, F.J., Lee, Y.Y., Diminic, S., & Whiteford, H.A. (2016). Applications of the epidemiological modelling outputs for targeted mental health planning in conflict-affected populations: the Syria case-study. Global Mental Health, 3, e8.

Harris, M.G., Baxter, A.J., Reavley, N., Diminic, S., Pirkis, J., & Whiteford, H.A. (2016). Gender-related patterns and determinants of recent help-seeking for past-year affective, anxiety and substance use disorders: findings from a national epidemiological survey. Epidemiology and Psychiatric Sciences, 25(6), 548-561.

Diminic, S., Carstensen, G., Harris, M.G., Reavley, N., Pirkis, J., Meurk, C., Wong, I., Bassilios, B., & Whiteford, H.A. (2015). Intersectoral policy for severe and persistent mental illness: review of approaches in a sample of high income countries. Global Mental Health, 2, e18.

Charlson, F., Diminic, S., & Whiteford, H. (2015). The rising tide of mental disorders in the Pacific region: forecasts of disease burden and service requirements from 2010 to 2050. Asia and the Pacific Policy Studies, 2(2), 280-292.

Harris, M.G., Diminic, S., Reavley, N., Baxter, A., Pirkis, J., & Whiteford, H.A. (2015). Males’ mental health disadvantage: An estimation of gender-specific changes in service utilisation for mental and substance use disorders in Australia. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 49(9), 821-832.

Harris, M., Diminic, S., Marshall, C., Stockings, E., & Degenhardt, L. (2015). Estimating service demand for respite care among informal carers of people with psychological disabilities in Australia. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health, 39(3), 284-292.

Harris, M.G., Hobbs, M.J., Burgess, P.M., Pirkis, J.E., Diminic, S., Siskind, D.J., Andrews, G., & Whiteford, H.A. (2015). Frequency and quality of mental health treatment for affective and anxiety disorders among Australian adults. Medical Journal of Australia, 202(4), 185-189.

Lee, Y.Y., Meurk, C.S., Harris, M.G., Diminic, S., Scheurer, R.W., & Whiteford, H.A. (2014). Developing a service platform definition to promote evidence-based planning and funding of the mental health service system. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 11, 12261-12282.

Charlson, F.J., Diminic, S., Lund, C., Degenhardt, L., & Whiteford, H.A. (2014). Mental and substance use disorders in Sub-Saharan Africa: predictions of epidemiological changes and mental health workforce requirements for the next 40 years. PLoS ONE, 9(10), e110208.

Siskind, D., Harris, M., Diminic, S., Carstensen, G., Robinson, G., & Whiteford, H. (2014). Predictors of mental health-related acute service utilisation and treatment costs in the 12 months following an acute psychiatric admission. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 48(11), 1048-1058.

Whiteford, H., McKeon, G., Harris, M., Diminic, S., Siskind, D, & Scheurer, R. (2014). System-level intersectoral linkages between the mental health and non-clinical support sectors: a qualitative systematic review. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 48(10), 895-906.

Harris, M.G., Diminic, S., Burgess, P., Carstensen, G., Stewart, G., Pirkis, J., & Whiteford, H.A. (2014). Understanding service demand for mental health among Australians aged 16 to 64 years according to their level of possible need. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 48(9), 838-851.

Whiteford, H., Harris, M., & Diminic, S. (2013). Mental health service system improvement: Translating evidence into policy. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 47(8), 703-706.

Research reports (2013-2017)

The stream has produced a significant number of research reports for various funding agencies, many of which have not been released to the public. Only publicly available reports are provided here.

Diminic, S., Hielscher, E., Lee, Y.Y., Harris, M., Schess, J., Kealton, J., & Whiteford, H. (2017). The economic value of informal mental health caring in Australia. Prepared for Mind Australia. Technical report: Summary report:

Harris, M., Pirkis, J., Diminic, S., Baxter, A., Reavley, N., Leske, S., & Whiteford, H. (2014). Males’ help-seeking for mental health: an update. Prepared for Movember Foundation.

Pirkis, J., Whiteford, H., Jorm, T., Harris, M., Reavley, N., Siskind, D., Bassilios, B., Diminic, S., Robinson, J., Carstensen, G., & Wong, I. (2014). Informing the development of Tasmania’s long-term plan for mental health: A review of policy documents and related literature. Prepared for Tasmanian Department of Health and Human Services.

Diminic, S., Harris, M., Sinclair, D., Carstensen, G., & Degenhardt, L. (2013). Estimating the community prevalence and treatment rates for mental and substance use disorders in Queensland. Prepared for Queensland Mental Health Commission.

Eagar, K., Green, J., Lago, L., Blanchard, M., Diminic, S., & Harris, M. (2013). Cost drivers and a recommended framework for mental health classification development: Final report for Stage B of the Definition and Cost Drivers for Mental Health Services project, Volume 1. Prepared for Independent Hospital Pricing Authority.

Harris, M., Legge, N., Diminic, S., Carstensen, G., McKeon, G., Siskind, D., Burgess, P., Stewart, G., & Whiteford, H. (2013). Mental health service cost drivers – an international literature review: Final report for Stage B of the Definition and Cost Drivers for Mental Health Services project, Volume 2. Prepared for Independent Hospital Pricing Authority.

Whiteford, H., Eagar, K., Harris, M., Diminic, S., Burgess, P., & Stewart, G. (2013). Stage A Final Report: Defining mental health services for classification purposes. Prepared for Independent Hospital Pricing Authority.