CEO Update from Mental Health Australia: If we vote with mental health in mind, we can influence systemic reform


If we vote with mental health in mind, we can influence systemic reform

Tomorrow’s Federal Election is the final chance to vote with mental health in mind. In every electorate it is a final chance to help shape the path towards improved systemic mental health reform over the next three years and beyond.

The fact that mental health reform has not been discussed as a major standalone issue during this campaign is disappointing, but not surprising.

The mental health and wellbeing of all Australians has been of particular concern over the last two years, and rightly so. Yet somehow mental health has failed to be a major election issue on its own, especially when you look at the need for true national reform for our system. In the three years leading up to this election, where a Productivity Commission Inquiry has highlighted the way forward and a number of welcomed investments have been made, we are still lacking a collective and clear vision and strategic action to deliver a national systemic approach.

Mental health reform is a complex issue, needing bipartisan commitment across all jurisdictions, so maybe that’s why it’s hardly been discussed during this year’s election campaign.

I am disappointed but not dismayed by the lack of specific attention to mental health reform and service delivery during the campaign – in fact this is what we expected. And this was why from the outset we made an effort to highlight the fact that every issue discussed during this year’s campaign has the potential to impact our mental health system.

But we will continue to push for further reform on Monday, regardless of tomorrow’s result.

Improving our mental health system is also about improving the cost of living in our communities and reducing the stress and strain on individuals and families, such as reducing the cost of subscriptions to medicines and of access to healthcare in general.

Improving our mental health system will also improve our economy and overall productivity, and it will provide opportunities when it comes to education and workforce development.

At a global level if we are serious about tackling climate change and improving our environment, then that too will influence our mental health in a positive way, especially when it comes to minimising the impact of natural disasters.

From childcare and aged care to religious discrimination and border security, the potential mental health impacts, and therefore opportunities for improvements have been layered within every issue discussed during this election campaign. 

This is why we are encouraging people to vote with mental health in mind.

What does it mean to vote with mental health in mind? It means to vote knowing that every issue, every announcement, every debate, every election promise made, has the potential to impact our mental health, and our mental health system.

We are delighted that our election resources have been so broadly accessed over recent weeks. The member-only electorate data has been particularly important for those seeking resources about mental illness and access to services presented by electorate. To find out more go to:

Have a great weekend,


Dr Leanne Beagley

CEO, Mental Health Australia

Research into mental health challenges during COVID-19 

Researchers from Monash University and the National Mental Health Consumer and Carer Forum are seeking participants to complete a survey about Family experiences supporting people with mental health challenges during COVID-19 in Australia.

The research will be used to inform a report to the National Mental Health Commission, as well as policy advice to governments, non-government organisations and peak bodies, and to further future projects relating to the mental health of family carers.

 If you would like more information, please email

Take survey

Next week

My Diary Next week

On Monday I have a meeting with the TheMHS Conference committee to progress plans for the Sydney 2022 event.

On Tuesday I have a CALD Strategy Refresh meeting with the NDIA and later an Expert Advisory Group for OT Australia’s Thinking Ahead Mental Health Project

On Wednesday we have our regular meeting with Mark Roddam and the team at the Department of Health

On Thursday I have Board Governance Committee Meeting and later our regular meeting with Suicide Prevention Australia as well as an NDIS Joint Advocacy and Co-design meeting


Have you visited the Embrace multicultural mental health project Knowledge Hub?  

The Knowledge Hub is a searchable, national database of resources and information on multicultural mental health and suicide prevention. The Embrace team regularly update the Hub with new information to help you stay up-to-date with emerging issues in multicultural mental health and suicide prevention. 

Visit the Knowledge Hub


Featured Members


Stride logo

Stride is Australia’s longest-established mental health charity providing specialist mental health services to people with mental illness & complex needs since 1907.  We provide services to support people at all stages of their mental health journey, from early intervention services, designed to support children, young people and adults at-risk of developing mental health conditions, to services for people with ongoing and complex needs.

MHPN logo

Mental Health Professionals Network is a federally funded, not-for-profit organisation established in 2008 to support and enhance a more interdisciplinary approach to primary mental health care service delivery in Australia.

Job Vacancies

Perinatal Psychiatrist

Gidget Foundation Australia is recruiting an experienced Perinatal Psychiatrist to deliver clinical services for patients. Gidget Foundation Australia’s Clinicians often identify patients as requiring formal psychiatric assessment and treatment and the role of the Consultant Perinatal Psychiatrist would be to provide these services.

Find out more

Send us your news, events, and job vacancies

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 Thursday for your notice to appear in the newsletter.

Mental Health News

Open letter for MPs to defend the NDIS

More than 50 disability advocacy organisations representing millions of Australians have urged the next Federal Parliament to reverse the “death by a thousand cuts” that is devastating the lives of people with disability and undermining the NDIS. In the Open Letter to Australia’s Future Parliament released this week, disability advocacy and support organisations are calling on future MPs to back key reforms that will ensure no one with disability who needs support is left behind. 

Read the letter
Towards Healing: Insights into the Complexities of Perinatal Mental Health

Gidget Foundation Australia hosted our first ever conference on Sunday/Monday this week. Presenters and leaders within the perinatal field joined to discuss the latest approaches, thoughts, theories and research into perinatal mental health.  NSW Minister for Health Bronnie Taylor opened the conference on Monday, and it was a wonderful success with more than 300 health professionals in the perinatal mental health sector joining in person and online. 

Read more news from Gidget Foundation
Australia’s 2.65 million carers urged to weigh up their vote in light of parties’ responses to commitment to Carers Australia’s election survey

Carers Australia has this week released responses from the Liberal National Coalition, Labor Party and the Australian Greens to a policy survey seeking to understand the level of financial commitment and other support each party will provide to unpaid family and friend carers in the next term of government.

Read more
Multicultural Australians encouraged to vote with mental health in mind

Australia is a multicultural country, and as our cultural, linguistic and religious diversity continues to grow, we must acknowledge just how difficult the last two years have been for many in our ethnic communities.
From closed state and international borders to community lockdowns and racist sentiments, the impact of the pandemic, and more on multicultural Australians has impacted the mental health of many.
At Mental Health Australia the Embrace Multicultural Mental Health Project works tirelessly to help ensure mental health service providers are culturally aware when it comes to supporting and providing care for all Australians.

Read more
More Australians struggling with housing, food, utilities and
health care – can’t meet basic living expenses

Research conducted by The Salvation Army has highlighted that the most vulnerable in our society are struggling to make ends meet, with 84% of those surveyed finding it a challenge to meet basic living expenses, including housing, utilities, food and health care, in the past 12 months. The research reflects The Salvation Army’s Social Justice Stocktake released last month, which reveals housing affordability is the second most issue of concern to Australians after mental health.

Read more
Affordable and appropriate housing – the absolute foundation for mental health recovery and wellbeing

In a week where the focus has been on the increase to mortgage repayments, Mental Health Australia is reminding both major parties, and all candidates in the Federal Election, just how important affordable housing is when it comes to mental health recovery and wellbeing.
Mental Health Australia CEO Dr Leanne Beagley says access to appropriate and affordable housing is the key for people to participate in our society and an absolute foundation for recovery and support.

Read more
New release: Mental health services in Australia

A new release from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare was published this week: Mental health services in Australia - Tranche 2. Mental health services in Australia (MHSA) provides a picture of the national response of the health and welfare service system to the mental health care needs of Australians. MHSA is updated progressively throughout each year as data becomes available.

Read more
Mental health - the unseen casualty of climate change

Doctors for the Environment Australia (DEA) congratulates the Royal Australasian College of Physicians Congress 2022 “A Climate of Change”, the New South Wales Australian Medical Association and a series of Climate Change and Mental Health events at RANZCP 2022 for focusing on the crucial mental health impacts of climate change and collaborating across health professions.

Many Australians are not yet aware of the serious and wide-reaching impacts of climate change on mental health, particularly the link between extreme heat and increased mental health emergency presentations, hospitalisations and suicide.

Read more
Jobs and strong safety net key to maintaining mental health as pandemic continues

Psychiatrists are warning against complacency in thinking the pandemic and its mental
health impacts are over, and say employment, a strong social safety net and targeted financial assistance are as important as clinical services in keeping people well. Doctors for the Environment Australia (DEA) congratulates the Royal Australasian College of Physicians Congress 2022 “A Climate of Change”, the New South Wales Australian Medical Association and a series of Climate Change and Mental Health events at RANZCP 2022 for focusing on the crucial mental health impacts of climate change and collaborating across health professions.

Many Australians are not yet aware of the serious and wide-reaching impacts of climate change on mental health, particularly the link between extreme heat and increased mental health emergency presentations, hospitalisations and suicide.

Read more
New nationwide Indigenous Helpline

For the first time,  First Nations people across Australia will have access to a culturally safe, dedicated, 24/7 crisis hotline.

COVID-19 treatments and winter preparedness for people with disability

The Department of Health recently hosted a webinar on COVID-19 treatments and winter preparedness for people with disability.

The expert panel addressed:

  • access to COVID-19 oral treatments
  • discussing oral treatments with your GP while you are well
  • COVID-19 vaccine winter doses
  • influenza vaccination
  • COVID-19 emergency planning. 

A recording of the webinar has been published online. 

Watch recording

Mental Health Opportunities and Resources

The 30th Annual Mental Health Service Awards of Australia and New Zealand deadline has been extended! 

Award entries close June 2nd.

These prestigious Awards recognise excellence and achievement in mental health, showcasing work in research, evaluation, services and programs and wellbeing in the workplace. This is a great opportunity to share and showcase the work you and your organisation are doing in mental health.

Find out more or enter now

NT Suicide Prevention Community Grants

The grants aim to empower non-government organisations and community members, who can apply for funding between $500 and $10,000 to raise awareness about suicide and suicide prevention. Applications will be considered for activities and projects that progress local actions in a number of areas, including addressing stigma and discrimination, building inclusive communities and strengthening community resilience, and reducing exposure to trauma (violence, sexual abuse, alcohol and drug use.

Applications close: 31 May 2022

Find out more

WA Mental Health Week 2022 Community Grants Program

Mental Health Week 2022 will run from 8 – 15 October and is coordinated by the Western Australian Association for Mental Health (WAAMH), with support from the WA Mental Health Commission.

This year’s theme is, ‘Where we live. How we live. What we’ve lived’, and grants are being offered across four areas: Events, Education, Experience, and Equipment.

Applications close: 30 June 2022

Find out more
Schizophrenia Awareness Week - One Door Mental Health Symposium Monday 23 & Wednesday 25 May

Join One Door Mental Health in their annual symposium to share the latest insights, promote inclusive behaviour and encourage a purposeful and meaningful life amongst the creative and passionate community living with schizophrenia.

Get tickets
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