Mental Health Observatory

The South Australian Mental Health Observatory (MHO) is a collaborative initiative involving researchers from SA Health, the University of Adelaide, the University of South Australia and Flinders University. The MHO undertakes research on mental illness and mental health outcomes across South Australia. 


The MHO is currently undertaking a cohort study, the ‘SPARK Study - A project of Mental Health Observatory’. The study will provide information on the services accessed by people with mental illness across rural and metropolitan South Australia, and on their health outcomes over a 12-month period.  The information will be analysed to identify factors (both service and client related) associated with good outcomes for people using mental health services and determine effective health service pathways.

Information derived from the SPARK will enable:

  • better understanding of the outcomes for people in contact with the mental health system
  • better understanding of factors associated with good outcomes - individual factors, service factors and regional factors
  • the identification of  effective and ineffective levels and patterns of care
  • the identification of  gaps in service delivery
  • the determination of costs involved in providing particular services
  • informed development of early intervention and preventative strategies across the mental health services.

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