View mailing in browser


Mental Health Australia stylised flannel flower logo. The centre is yellow and the leaves are white.  Text: CEO Update

Text: Mental Health Australia
From the CEO - 
Leanne Beagley
Headshot of Leanne Beagley.

Our Advice to Governments – despite other demands, we must continue to prioritise mental health reform

Parliament House

In recent days we have written to the Prime Minister, Leader of the Opposition and will be writing joint letters with state peaks to state and territory First Ministers outlining our Advice to Governments in relation to the impending National Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Agreement.

Working with our members, people with lived experience of mental illness and their families, and key stakeholders we consulted extensively and have produced a document that, whilst not commissioned or requested, we expect to inform the development of the National Agreement. The Agreement is set to be finalised by November this year.

Our Advice to Governments (which is attached) highlights six key points for all governments - Commonwealth, state and territory - to consider. These are:

  1. The foundational principle that there must be involvement of people with a lived experience of mental ill health in the development, implementation, oversight and evaluation of the agreement.
  2. The need for clear accountability, coordination of activity and transparency of action, and the need for First Ministers to take responsibility for the outcomes of the agreement.
  3. There must be a commitment to long term funding enhancements based on an objective reference point, and that investment should be incrementally added to the system against a set of transparent priorities and with transparent governance and oversight.
  4. Governance and implementation mechanisms must include representation from the sector drawing on its expertise and recognise the foundational principle of the involvement of individuals with a lived experience of mental ill health.
  5. Endeavour must focus on activity beyond the health system and include responses that address the social determinants and root causes of mental ill health and suicide including poverty, trauma and incarceration.
  6. The evaluation and measurement of outcomes built into the agreement must include whole-of-government measures that deal with long term improved mental health and wellbeing for the whole community.

During this difficult time there is no doubt our health system, health departments, health officials and health ministers, are under immense pressure as a result of the pandemic. 

Pressure has compounded over many months as broader health and social issues have ensued. It appears this pressure will continue for some months to come, as we all battle this pandemic and find our way forward.

But this pressure cannot get in the way of mental health reform being a priority at this time. We must capitalise on the work that has gone before us over the last three years to get us to this point and we must continue to prioritise mental health reform, which starts with a National Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Agreement. 

In the Prime Minister’s own words "[the agreement] will clarify that grey… between the states and federal government in the most important areas of where mental health services have been found to be ambiguous or missing."

Thank you to everyone who has provided input and feedback. I am confident that this Advice to Governments really does reflect the concerns and priorities of the mental health ecosystem.

We hope it is heeded.

Have a good weekend.

Leanne Beagley

Brief Reflection

I was delighted in the past week to have been part of an online panel hosted by Deloitte. Along with a couple of experts, I spoke to more than 100 participants about the challenges ahead in workforce development in a mental health sector in the context of massive reform. On reflection I wanted to underline a couple of key points I made at the time:

  • We must start with what people with lived experience tell us they want and need in the system that provides them with support and treatment. How else will we know?
  • We must be smart about building on existing practices and processes that people with lived experience, and the data, tell us are helpful rather than assume that everything needs to be re-invented from scratch. 
  • We must recognise that a range of service systems provide critically important support to people with mental ill health and those who love and care for them and that in that sense we must factor in what those services need to strengthen their approaches and systems such as health providers across the continuum from primary to tertiary care, early childhood providers, school support systems, social and family support services, youth and drug treatment services, housing support services, community corrections and justice services, ambulance and police and aged care providers.

Mental Health Australia Vacancy - Manager, Lived Experience Programs

The Manager Lived Experience Programs is responsible for:

  • facilitating the business of the National Mental Health Consumer & Carer Forum (NMHCCF), which includes providing secretariat, policy and project support.
  • managing the relationship between Mental Health Australia and the NMHCCF, through a trustworthy and trauma-informed approach.
  • strengthening policy and advocacy positions and capacity for mental health consumers and carers working with Mental Health Australia.

To be considered for this role you will have formal qualifications in a relevant discipline (eg. health, social science, community services) and / or substantial related experience. You will have a strong commitment to working in partnership with consumers and carers to achieve mental health reform and knowledge of working within a trauma-informed approach, promoting safety, trust, choice, collaboration and empowerment. 

Find out more here.

Applications Close: 20 Aug 2021


On Monday we are spending some in-house (via video) time with our staff team and on Tuesday I have a Mentally Healthy Workplace Alliance meeting and an Industry Reference Group Meeting with the NDIA. I am also looking forward to a speaking engagement hosted by Nous on co-design in mental health.
On Thursday I have a meeting with Kimberly McDonald and the team at Department of Prime Minister & Cabinet, and later will be a guest speaker at the internal “Design Talks” forum at Nous.  
On Friday I will be meeting with Russ and Dean from the Latitude Network and then with Assistant Minister David Coleman about Mental Health Australia’s Advice to Governments in relation to the National Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Agreement


Member Benefits, Jobs and Profiles

Communicate your news, job vacancies, or upcoming events to more than 5,000 people in the mental health ecosystem weekly.

Mental Health Australia members are invited to send us news, announcements, job vacancies, events or other notices for inclusion in the Weekly CEO Update newsletter. To do so, simply fill out this form by COB each Wednesday for your notice to appear in the newsletter the following Friday.

Meaningful Ageing Australia - Board of Directors EOIs Open

Meaningful Ageing Australia are seeking to appoint new members to their Board of Directors. Meaningful Ageing Australia works with aged care services to ensure meaning, purpose, and connectedness are part of every ageing journey. Expressions of Interest are especially welcomed from individuals with strong governance capability, an interest in Meaningful Ageing Australia's work, and a desire to serve. Read more here, or email Ilsa Hampton at

Emerging Minds Positions Vacant

Emerging Minds, the National Workforce Centre for Child Mental Health is currently recruiting 4 positions to join their Partnerships & Implementation Team.

  • Senior Child Mental Health Advisor - Health.
  • Child Mental Health Advisor - Health.
  • Child Mental Health Advisor - Social Services.
  • Child Mental Health Advisor - Primary Health Care.

These positions are fixed term contract positions until 30 June 2023.
Competitive salaries, salary packaging and entertainment packaging are available. Additional Employer Superannuation Contribution of 3% also applies.  Full details for each of these positions including Job Descriptions can be found on the Emerging Minds website.

Member Profiles


Mental Illness Fellowship of Australia
Mental Illness Fellowship Australia (MIFA) is a federation of seven long-standing service delivery member organisations, established in 1986. Our members deliver specialist services for individuals living with severe mental ill-health and their carers, friends and families, out of nearly 60 ‘front doors’ in metropolitan and regional areas, to over 20,000 people each year. Our membership has a strong focus on building community, valuing peer support and lived experience, and supporting recovery. We know from experience that recovery of a better quality of life is possible for everyone affected by mental illness.

Carers ACT
Carers ACT is the peak agency for Mental Health Carers in the ACT. We work in collaboration with mental health carers to ensure their voices are heard in the policies and programs that affect people with mental health conditions. We also work to raise awareness of the health and well-being needs of mental health carers and advocate for services and system changes that support mental health carers to improve their wellbeing. Our Mental Health Carers Voice program adopts deliberate democracy practices to ensure the voices of carers are considered, evidence-based and representative of all.  


Embrace Multicultural Mental Health News

Videos to support Greater Sydney COVID-19 outbreak

The Department of Health has created videos featuring multicultural health professionals and community leaders from Sydney sharing messaging about the importance of staying home, get tested, get vaccinated - specifically for the Greater Sydney region. The videos are available in 20 languages and are available on the Department’s website. Further videos featuring health professionals and religious and community leaders speaking in-language with the same messaging are also available.

Embrace Australia logo (a rectangle with a light and dark purple cultural stripe pattern with "embrace" and stylised outline of the Australian continent in the lower right corner).


Mental Health News

Rise in distress signals the need for continued support, particularly for young people

It’s clear from recent data that distress levels in the community are high and continuing to increase due to the ongoing challenges from COVID-19 lockdowns. The recent Australian Institute of Health and Welfare report into suicide and self-harm shows an increase in ambulance attendances for suicidal and self-harm ideation and increased levels of psychological distress, particularly for younger people. On Monday 2 August, Lifeline recorded the highest daily number of calls (3,345 calls) in the organisation’s history.

Read more

Mental health our fastest-growing hospital admission

The Australian Medical Association (AMA) has warned that despite additional investment in the last Budget, chronic underfunding of existing frontline services and a lack of psychiatrists is besetting a mental health sector struggling to cope in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. The AMA has told the House Select Committee on Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Australia's mental health system is suffering from underfunding at all sector and government levels, and services are not coping with demand, even before the impact of COVID-19 is felt. Calling for more investment into mental health care, AMA President Dr Omar Khorshid said that although extra funding in the last Budget was welcome, the providers of existing mental health services received no additional support despite overwhelming demand.

Read more

Mental health clinics to support Australians in lockdown in NSW and VIC

The federal Government is providing $17.7 million to rapidly establish 10 Head to Health pop up mental health support sites for areas currently facing extended COVID-19 restrictions in and around Greater Sydney and to extend the operation of at least 12 clinics in Victoria until 30 June 2022. To support those living in the areas most affected by the NSW lockdown, the $10.6 million funding will be used to establish pop up clinics in a range of Primary Health Network (PHN) regions.

Read more

Supporting young Australians through COVID-19 lockdowns

Assistant Minister to the Prime Minister for Mental Health and Suicide Prevention, David Coleman, said the Australian Government is reminding the thousands of young Australians in COVID-19 lockdown or facing other restrictions that mental health support is available to help them. The last 18 months have been some of the most challenging in Australia's history and the impact is being felt right across Australia, with increased stress, anxiety and depression in the community. This is particularly being felt by young Australians who have faced disruptions to their schooling and sporting activities and who have often been separated from their friends and loved ones such as grandparents.

Read more

More mental health services for young Victorians 

The Victorian Government is taking action to ensure young people across Victoria have access to the mental health services they need with a massive expansion of community-based youth centres. Minister for Mental Health James Merlino today welcomed Expressions of Interest for Principal Consultant architecture services to lead the design of a $141 million project to expand and upgrade Youth Prevention and Recovery Care (YPARC) centres across the state, thanks to funding from the Victorian Budget 2021/22.

Read more

Big boost for regional health and mental health services in 2021-22 State Budget

The WA Government has announced a massive $1.9 billion investment in health and mental health services throughout Western Australia, including a range of important initiatives in regional WA. Regional communities will benefit from the considerable State-wide boost to address unprecedented demand in the system - delivering more beds, doctors, nurses and improved services in country WA. In addition to hundreds of millions of dollars to boost the capacity of health services around the State, a number of additional regional-specific initiatives are being delivered, including commitments made at the 2021 election. 

Read more

Additional mental health support for White Card holders

Ten thousand veterans with complex mental health needs will have access to a network of qualified GPs nationwide, following the expansion of support provided by the Australian Government. Minister for Veterans' Affairs Andrew Gee today announced the Coordinated Veterans' Care (CVC) Program has been expanded to provide additional support for DVA White Card holders with an accepted mental health condition. "The Australian Government already provides free mental health care to anyone who has served one day in uniform," Minister Gee said. "This program goes a step further in providing dedicated and coordinated care to veterans with chronic conditions and complex care needs." 

Read more

New RANZCP Position Statement Family Violence

The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists (RANZCP) recognises the significant and pervasive impacts of family violence. This position statement describes the role of psychiatrists in supporting the mental health of those who have experienced, or who are experiencing, family violence and those who perpetrate family violence. 

Read more

Psychiatrists call for action on climate change to protect youth mental health

The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists (RANZCP) has expressed concern at the alarming impacts of climate change found in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Climate Change 2021: The Physical Science Basis report. RANZCP President, Associate Professor Vinay Lakra, welcomed the report’s warnings, explaining that climate change has considering impacts on the mental health of our communities and individuals.

Read more

#ChatStarter to support the mental health of Australia’s children, young people and parents

Assistant Minister to the Prime Minister for Mental Health and Suicide Prevention, David Coleman, says a new online mental health communication program, designed and delivered by young people and parents for young people and parents, is being launched today. The new program, called #ChatStarter, will see a unique and collaborative approach to community mental health support, and comes at a time when the nation continues to face the mental health impacts of pandemic restrictions and COVID-19 outbreaks. The #ChatStarter program uses social media to connect, engage and promote the benefits of supportive conversations with young people and children who are going through a difficult time.

Read more




What to do if immunisation information in My Health Record is missing

Some consumers may notice that immunisation information in their record is missing or incomplete. This may be due to a setting in their record preventing information from the Australian Immunisation Register downloading to their record. This may have been set during the registration process and can be changed easily by consumers. Guidance on changing relevant settings is available here.

Commencement of the National Mental Health Workforce Strategy Public Consultation

The Public Consultation on the National Mental Health Workforce Strategy – Consultation Draft has commenced and will be open for submission until 31st August 2021. The public will be able to view and download the Consultation Draft Strategy, Background Paper and make a submission here.

WA Mental Health Award nominations open

Nominations for the 2021 WA Mental Health Awards close on 25 August 2021. The awards aim to recognise and reward the achievements of those who demonstrate excellence, innovation, and initiative in supporting consumers of mental health services, their families, and carers; and showcase best practice in WA’s mental health sector to inspire others.

Australian Mental Health Prize nominations open

Please consider nominating significant persons who do extraordinary things in our sector for consideration in the Australian MH Prize. Nominating someone is a straightforward process. You need to submit the CV of the person you are nominating, along with 200 words outlining the work they do and how it is making an impact. Nominations close on Friday 27 August 2021.

Information, Linkages and Capacity Building Program (ILC) Sector Informants Survey

You are invited to participate in a short (10-20 minute) online survey developed and organised by Swinburne University of Technology (SUT) researchers, as part of a research project commissioned by the Department of Social Services (DSS). The research aims to understand the activities being delivered under the current ILC strategy and conduct a gap analysis to identify potential areas for future investments.

The Mental Health & Wellbeing Expo ACT

The Mental Health & Wellbeing Expo is an integral part of Mental Health Month in the ACT. There are five free public events across October aimed at bringing the ACT and surrounding communities together to celebrate positive wellbeing and learn more about mental health services available in the region.



Twitter logo
Facebook logo
Instagram logo
Hyperlink logo
Email logo
Copyright © 2019 Mental Health Australia Ltd., All rights reserved.  | Join our mailing list

Contact Us:
9-11 Napier Close

Did you receive this email in error?
Unsubscribe from this list