CEO Update from Mental Health Australia: Wishing you all the best for the festive season

Two people smiling in the sun with a tree filled with flowers behind them.

What a big year it has been! Thank you to all of those who have sent such encouraging and positive feedback as we celebrate last week’s events – the Annual General Meeting and the 2021 Grace Groom Memorial Oration featuring the Hon Julia Gillard AC – both at the National Gallery of Australia; plus the Members Policy Forum at Old Parliament House – it’s also a good time to reflect on 2021.

We’ve recently welcomed a new Board Chair in Matt Berriman. You can watch him reflect on the key role he’s embarked on in this video. At the AGM we also welcomed a new board member, Professor Sharon Lawn, who is the Chair and Executive Director of Lived Experience Australia and was previously Lead Mental Health Commissioner for South Australia. Both bring with them lived experience expertise, and we’re excited for their insights and leadership.

It’s been a big year for Mental Health Australia. You can read about our work from July 2020 to June 2021 in our Annual Report, which was tabled at the AGM last week.

We were busy with policy submissions throughout the year including our Advice to Governments on the proposed National Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Agreement. It was developed through a comprehensive consultation with consumers and carers, Mental Health Australia members and other key stakeholders. It contains structures, priorities and initiatives to improve outcomes for people with a lived experience of mental ill health and those who love and care for them.

National Cabinet has last week made an in-principle endorsement of this Agreement so we expect the details to be finalised in early 2022. Mental Health Australia strongly encourages governments to engage with people with a lived experience of mental ill health as well as the broader service system to develop and deliver a National Agreement that will truly improve the lives of every Australian.

This year we welcomed renewed funding and program enhancement for the Embrace Multicultural Mental Health Project, delivered another successful World Mental Health Day campaign, and continued to support lived experience participation and leadership by the National Mental Health Consumers and Carers Forum and the National Register of Mental Health Consumer and Carer Representatives

Most importantly we are proud to have worked alongside many, many people during year two of the pandemic to support and advocate for mental health system reform within the work and personal journeys that each of you navigate every day. 

Season’s greetings and have a safe, and hopefully restful, summer

Dr Leanne Beagley

Image of festive e-card with icons related to the season (a gift, Christmas trees, stars, and flannel flower icons). In the foreground, there is a graphic of a galah. Text reads: Season's Greetings & Happy New Year. Mental Health Australia wishes you a safe and fun festive season and a fantastic 2022.

Release of the Psychosocial Recovery Framework

The NDIA has announced that the NDIS Psychosocial Disability Recovery-Oriented Framework has now been endorsed by all Commonwealth and State and Territory Disability Ministers. Mental Health Australia has worked closely with the NDIA in the development of the Framework and strongly supports its aim to ensure that participants living with psychosocial disability are supported in their recovery journey to live a meaningful life in their community and can access and choose supports that enable independence and social and economic participation. The Recovery Framework is informed by the experiences of participants and their families and carers, service providers and state and territory governments.

Read our media release, Mental Health Australia Welcomes Recovery Framework.

National Mental Health Consumer and Carer Forum (NMHCCF) and the National PHN Mental Health Lived Experience Engagement Network (MHLEEN) partner with Yale University to run a transformational leadership development program

The NMHCCF and MHLEEN, through their jointly funded Leadership Program, are partnering with the Yale University Program for Recovery and Community Health (PRCH) to support up to 15 emerging leaders with a lived experience of recovery of mental health to participate in the LET(s)LEAD Academy, a transformational leadership development program. Candidates will have personal lived experience of mental health distress and recovery and are making positive changes in their community or sector or be interested in transformational change.

The virtual course, facilitated by instructors from PRCH, Department of School of Medicine, Yale and guest facilitators throughout Australia, will run from February 2022 – November 2022. The first phase of the course consists of 10-weekly online seminars that cover concepts such as developing a personal vision, transformational change, appreciative inquiry, strategy, and change management.

In the second phase of the course, participants will be matched with the mentorship of a community leader nationally or internationally according to a self-chosen piece of work contributing to the lived experience sector. It is intended that after course completion, participants will provide lived experience transformational leadership within their organisation and within the mental health Lived Experience (Peer) workforce sector within Australia.

Further information and applications forms are available via the NMHCCF website or here.


The Mental Health Australia office will close for a Christmas/New Year break from Friday 24 December to Monday 4 January.


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.

Member Profiles

ReachOut Australia
ReachOut is the most accessed online mental health service for young people and their parents in Australia. Their trusted self-help information, peer-support program and referral tools save lives by helping young people be well and stay well. The information they offer parents makes it easier for them to help their teenagers, too. ReachOut has been championing wider access to mental health support since they launched their online service more than 20 years ago. Everything they create is based on the latest evidence and is designed with experts, and young people or their parents. That’s why ReachOut is a trusted, relevant service that’s so easy to use.  Accessed by more than 2 million people in Australia each year, ReachOut is a free service that’s available anytime and pretty much anywhere.  

Marathon Health
Marathon Health is a not-for-profit, registered charity delivering high quality health and wellbeing services to people in country NSW and the ACT. We are one of the few health organisations based in country Australia with the core purpose to identify, deliver and sustain services to people within these communities. We are passionate advocates for equal access to quality health services for people wherever they choose to live. We are a strong voice for rural health: we live here, we work here, and our future is here.


Embrace Multicultural Mental Health News

COVID-19 Vaccines booster doses

ATAGI recommends that people aged 18 years and over receive a booster dose of COVID-19 vaccine six months after they complete their initial two-dose course. Receiving a booster dose will maintain individuals’ protection against COVID-19. Booster doses will be free and available to everyone in Australia aged 18 years and over. Getting a booster dose is not mandatory but it is recommended to maintain immunity against COVID-19. More information about booster doses, including which vaccine is being used for booster doses, is available on the Department of Health websiteTranslated resources are available here.

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

National Cabinet in-principle endorsement of National Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Agreement

Suicide Prevention Australia notes National Cabinet’s in-principle endorsement of the National Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Agreement (National Agreement). The announcement signals that these important negotiations are progressing and are due to be finalised by early 2022. The National Agreement is a major opportunity to put foundations in place to prevent suicide right across Australia. Suicide Prevention Australia CEO, Nieves Murray said, “A lot is riding on the negotiations between the Commonwealth and the states and territories. We need a National Agreement that adopts a whole-of-government approach, transparently drives better outcomes and has lived experience at its core.”

Read more

OzHelp Foundation releases new report: It’s tough out there

The OzHelp Foundation (OzHelp) released a new report It’s tough out there, which brings together important evidence to support a focus on suicide prevention for hard to reach workers in high-risk industries, and how OzHelp’s programs respond to identified areas of concern and need. OzHelp Chief Executive Officer Darren Black said that preventing suicide is a national priority, that men are a priority, and that men that are hard to reach in high-risk industries are more likely to die by suicide than the general population. The statistics highlight this.

Read more

New partnership to support new parents with their mental health (NT)

Charles Darwin University (CDU) and not-for-profit organisation Karitane have announced a new partnership with a focus on strengthening workforce education and training, and collaborative research in the field of Perinatal and Infant Mental Health (PIMH). As a part of the partnership, Karitane Clinical Nurse Consultant in Perinatal, Infant and Child Mental Health, Karen Hazell Raine, will take on a conjoint position as CDU Nursing and Midwifery Senior Lecturer to develop a portfolio of research to support parental mental health.

Read more

Penrith Head to Health centre celebrates opening

People living in the Penrith region seeking assistance for their mental health will have access to additional services providing quality support with the opening of a Head to Health Centre in the region. Minister for Health and Aged Care, Greg Hunt, Assistant Minister to the Prime Minister for Mental Health and Suicide Prevention, David Coleman, and Federal Member for Lindsay, Melissa McIntosh, welcomed the opening of the Penrith Head to Health centre. “We know that the pandemic and the measures taken to contain it have had a significant impact on the mental health and wellbeing of many Australians,” Minister Hunt said. “The Penrith Head to Health Centre will be among the first in a network of community mental health centres ensuring people who need help have access to high quality, person centred care where and when they need it.”

Read more

headspace welcomes Government announcement to strengthen Australia’s primary care health system

headspace welcomes the announcement by the Federal Government that they are investing $308.6 million to strengthen Australia’s primary care health system, including the extension of the additional MBS subsidised mental health support to December 2022, and the announcement that telehealth will become a permanent feature of primary health care. headspace CEO, Jason Trethowan says telehealth is a way to ensure young people can access support on their help-seeking journey how it best suits them. Not only has telehealth enabled important services, like GPs communities and at headspace centres, to continue to deliver support to young people during the COVID-19 pandemic, it has also opened up options for those who ordinarily wouldn’t have been able to access help or might’ve disengaged from help-seeking.

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RANZCP commends Government investment in permanent telehealth

The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists (RANZCP) has commended the Federal Government on its investment of $308.6 million to strengthen health care delivery for all and specifically the $106 million to make telehealth a permanent feature of our health care system. The RANZCP President, Associate Professor Vinay Lakra, said this was very welcome news and would bring a great deal of relief and certainty to both patients and their doctors who have come to rely on the benefits of telehealth.

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$23.7 million boost for Australian preventive health groups

Twenty-one health groups across Australia will share in $23.7 million over 3 years thanks to the Morrison Government’s National Preventive Health Strategy, furthering support for the health and wellbeing of all Australians. Organisations such as the National Rural Health Alliance, the Consumer Health Forum, and the Public Health Association of Australia will receive funding through the third round of the Health Peak and Advisory Bodies Program so they can continue engaged, robust and constructive participation in the national health agenda.

Read more



Study into barriers to NDIA Access for people living with Psychosocial Disability

The University of Sydney is conducting a study about the NDIS and trying to understand what stops or makes it difficult for some people, to apply for the psychosocial disability stream of the NDIS. Those with lived experience of mental ill-health and have not been able to or have chosen not to apply for the NDIS, friends or family members and advocacy or service organisations aware of some reasons why people with mental ill-health or psychosocial disability haven’t applied for the NDIS are welcome to participate in the survey.

COVID-19 Vaccine Provider Alert - 7 December 2021

The Department of Health has issued its next COVID-19 vaccination – Disability Provider Alert 7 December 2021. In this update you will find information regarding the provisional approval of Pfizer for 5 to 11-year-olds, the Omicron variant and booster doses, booster rollout via in-reach and other channels, and current vaccination hubs. This provider alert along with other resources and information about the COVID-19 vaccine rollout is available from a dedicated web page for disability service providers on the Department of Health website.

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