CEO Update: What are you doing on World Mental Health Day?

What are you doing on World Mental Health Day?

At Mental Health Australia, we are gearing up for what is looking to be a rewarding, busy and exciting World Mental Health Day next Thursday 10 October.

It has been great to see so many events being registered on, ranging from morning teas, film festivals, rock-climbingtrivia nights, talks, dancing, “cupcake breaks”, “stretch and relax” classes, and so much more.

If you have not found an event to get behind on World Mental Health Day, head to - or better yet, create your own event! It could be as simple as grabbing some friends and sharing a meal together. 

Myself and some of the other Mental Health Australia staff will be heading up to Townsville to try and break the Guinness World Record™ for the ‘most people wearing high-visibility vests at a single venue.’  

This event is being hosted by Bunnings Fairfield Waters, and is the product of a fantastic partnership with Bunnings Warehouse, the Queensland Alliance for Mental Health, the City of Townsville, Mentally Healthy City Townsville, 3M, Triple M and Townsville Bulletin.

At 1000 registrations so far, we’re feeling pretty confident of breaking the current record of 2,136 people!

Another great and easy way to help raise awareness for the day is to make a Mental Health Promise to go on the Promise Wall, and to share amongst your friends, families and communities. 

Most importantly though, wherever you are and whoever you are with, World Mental Health Day is a day to see beyond the stigma that, despite a slow reduction, is still too common around mental health issues.

It is a day to be brave enough to open up to your friends and family about your struggles, and be ready and willing to listen to those who have the courage to open up to you.

World Mental Health Day is a great chance to make mental health more visible in our society, foster connected communities, and to do our part to make Australia a more mentally healthy community which, ultimately, can save lives. 

We can’t wait to see what everyone gets up to on the day!

Warm regards,

Frank Quinlan
Chief Executive Officer

Productivity Commission update

The Commission will seek further information and feedback following the release of the draft report on 31 October 2019. The Productivity Commission is advising that they will hold public hearings on the following dates, at the following locations:

  • 15 November - Canberra
  • 18-19 November - Melbourne
  • 20 November - Perth
  • 21 November - Geraldton
  • 25-26 November - Sydney
  • 28 November - Broken Hill
  • 2 December - Rockhampton
  • 3 December - Brisbane
  • 9 December - Launceston

Adelaide and Darwin public hearings will be held at dates to be advised in early 2020. Please note registrations to attend or participate in the hearings is not open yet. 

Read more

Mental Health Australia submission to Religious Freedom Bills

This week, Mental Health Australia made a submission to the Attorney-General’s Department’s consultation on the exposure drafts of the Religious Freedom Bills. This brief submission outlines that the exposure drafts of the Religious Freedom Bills do not achieve an appropriate protection for all parties by privileging religious freedom rights over the human rights of others.

If enacted, the Bills could make it easier for health practitioners to refuse health services on the basis of the health practitioner’s purported religious belief. Mental Health Australia sees potential detrimental impacts for (but not limited to) LGBTIQ+ people seeking healthcare and people seeking access to contraception, reproductive and sexual healthcare. The Religious Freedom Bills also operate quite differently to state legislation, which provide for the right to conscientious objection around some specific procedures but balance this with provision for access to adequate healthcare. 

Mental Health Australia recommends that the current Bills are re-examined to ensure Australians’ fundamental human right to access to healthcare is not compromised by legislation that preferences religious freedom over other human rights.

Read the submission here

Read more about the consultation


World Mental Health Day News

 World Mental Health Day is getting close!

The more organisations who commit to promoting awareness, the more we reduce the stigma surrounding mental illness and play our part in creating a mentally healthy community. 

Looking to attend or host an event on Thursday 10 October? You can do this HERE

You can also make a #MentalHealthPromise. Choose from a pre-written promise or get creative and write your own! Then share the promise amongst your social networks.




Embrace Multicultural Mental Health News


Workshops - The Framework for Mental Health in Multicultural Australia

The Framework for Mental Health in Multicultural Australia (the Framework) is a free, nationally available online resource which allows organisations and individual practitioners to evaluate and enhance their cultural responsiveness. It has been mapped against national standards to help you meet your existing requirements, with access to a wide range of support and resources.

Embrace Multicultural Mental Health (the Embrace Project) will be holding free workshops around Australia across 2019-2020 to support implementation of the Framework by mental health services, Primary Health Networks, individual practitioners and others. The workshops will provide an overview of the Framework and explore how it can be tailored to best meet your needs and the needs of your local community.

Workshop dates to the end of November 2019 are listed below, along with indicative dates to March 2020 (to be confirmed with all states and territories). Please click here to register for a workshop near you.

Hobart, TAS: 14 October 2019
Melbourne, VIC: 23 October 2019
Sydney, NSW: 6 November 2019
Adelaide, SA: 19 November 2019
Brisbane, QLD: Early December 2019
Perth, WA: TBC February/March 2020
Darwin, NT: TBC February/March 2020
Canberra, ACT: TBC




Mental Health News

Beyond Blue and Coastrek partnership embraces ‘friluftsliv’

Coastrek and Beyond Blue are proud to announce a new charity partnership based on a series of celebrated coastal treks that inspire people to exercise in nature for the good of their mental health. Teams of four can take on walks of varying distance along some of Australia’s most stunning coastlines while experiencing the widely recognised benefits of exercising in nature with family and friends. Every dollar raised by participants goes towards the Beyond Blue Support Service…

Changing antipsychotics - How to choose the best treatment

A new article published in Australian Prescriber this week reminds patients, their families and health professionals that antipsychotic medicines have their place in treating long-term, serious psychiatric illnesses, but swapping antipsychotics might be necessary for some people if they haven’t responded well to the medicine or if they are having unwanted side effects.

Increase in organisations joining the National Redress Scheme welcome, more work urgently needed

Lawyers for abuse survivors have today welcomed the announcement that more than 300 additional sites have joined the National Redress Scheme, but said the scheme continued to have a long way to go in delivering proper access to justice for survivors. 

Health and safety reps crucial as mental injuries at work become fastest growing injury

ACTU Assistant Secretary Liam O’Brien says safe work month highlights the importance of safety in the workplace, calling on workers to ‘be a safety champion’ and leaders for work health and safety within their organisation or industry… The recent Work Shouldn’t Hurt survey found that three in five working people had experienced mental illnesses or injuries like stress, depression, or anxiety at work as a result of their employer or workplace failing to manage poor working conditions.

Read more

Assistance dogs to support veterans with PTSD

Military veterans experiencing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) will be able to access specially trained assistance dogs under a new program announced today by Minister for Veterans and Defence Personnel Darren Chester. Mr Chester said two suppliers of assistance dogs had been contracted to work with the veteran community following overwhelming feedback from ex-service organisations.

Read more

People with psychosocial disability in the NDIS

The People with psychosocial disability in the NDIS report is part of a series of publicly shared reports released by the NDIA as part of the Agency’s commitment to sharing specialist data in addition to the comprehensive quarterly and other reports regularly released to assist stakeholders to understand market trends.

Read more



On Monday, the Mental Health Australia office will be closed for the Labour Day public holiday and will reopen on Tuesday.


On Tuesday, Mental Health Australia is hosting two participants, Wendy and Hayden, as part of the Australian Mental Health Leaders Fellowship (AMHLF) to observe leadership in action and learn more about different aspects of the mental health sector.


Thursday 10 October is World Mental Health Day and it sees Lachlan Searle, Director of External Relations, Anna Siddall, Communications Officer, and myself up in Townsville to break a Guinness World Record! We have partnered with Bunnings, Queensland Alliance for Mental Health, and other local organisations to set a world record for the most amount of people wearing high-visibility vests at a single venue. If you are in the area please register and come and join the attempt.


Don’t forget to make a #MentalHealthPromise to yourself anytime next week. You can chose from one of our pre-written promises, or get creative and write one of your own for display on our Promise Wall and for sharing through your own social media channels.


Friday 11 October will be my last day at Mental Health Australia.



Member Profiles

Catholic Social Services Australia (CSSAis the Catholic Church’s peak national body for social services in Australia. Our 52 member organisations provide social services to hundreds of thousands of people each year, delivering services to local communities in metropolitan, rural, regional and remote Australia. CSSA works with Catholic organisations, governments, other churches and all people of good will, to develop social welfare policies, programs and other strategic responses that work towards the economic, social and spiritual well-being of the Australian community. 
Website Facebook Twitter


On 16 August 2016 RichmondPRA Limited’s trading name became Flourish Australia. RichmondPRA was the result of two well-known and respected organisations — Richmond Fellowship of NSW and Psychiatric Rehabilitation Australia (PRA)—merging in mid-2012 in order to provide more choice and services across NSW and South East Queensland. United, they are dedicated to helping people with mental health problems to be part of their local community.
Vision - To enable full participation within a diverse and inclusive community.
Mission - Working together for optimal mental health and wellbeing.
Values - hope, inclusion, partnership, diversity, integrity, respect, trust
Website - Facebook - Twitter - Instagram -




Odd Socks Day - Friday 4 October

Odd Socks Day is a National Mental Health Campaign developed and run by Grow Australia since 2013. Odd Socks Day encourages Australians to wear odd socks to show that anyone can have an odd day. The messaging promotes conversations and demonstrates the understanding that people struggling with their mental health are not alone.

Grow is delighted that Australian owned clothing business mitchdowd is supporting Odd Socks Day in 2019. They are kindly donating $2 for every pair of socks purchased from their website and in addition, they will donate $1 per pair of socks physically sold in Top 20 Myer stores during 21 Sept to 5th of October. Funds raised will support our community mental health programs across Australia.

You can:

SHOP: Purchase eye-catching mitchdowd socks from their website
Use promo code GROW19 to receive 30% off full priced products and mitchdowd will donate $2 to Grow for each item purchased.

HOST: Host an event on OSD on or around 4 October 2019.  
Encourage your teams to take selfies and photos and put them on social media using the Hashtag #OSD2019

DONATE: Donate or fundraise for Grow
Help provide safe communities for Australians to recover their mental health.

Read more


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