What is a mental health systems model?

By Matthew Hamilton May 14, 2020

A mental health systems model is a mathematical representation of the systems (economic, environmental, service, social and technical) that shape population mental health. These mathematical representations can be succinct (a brief mathematical formula) or highly detailed (complex networks of linked equations expressed as large bodies of computer code). When applied to relevant data, these models can produce insights to help planners and policy makers address a range of decision problems.

The types of problems that these models can help with include, but is not limited to, forecasting demand for services, identifying efficient budget allocation and service configuration strategies and predicting potential challenges in implementing reforms. The optimal type of systems modelling methodology to deploy will vary depending on the nature of the problem to be addressed.