National Register of Mental Health Consumer & Carer Representatives

What is the National Register?

The National Register is a pool of 60 trained mental health consumer and carer representatives from across Australia, who work at the national level to provide a strong consumer and carer voice in the mental health sector.

Members of the National Register use their lived experience, knowledge of the mental health system and communication skills to advocate and promote the issues and concerns of mental health consumers and carers.

The National Register was established in 2007 and is an ongoing project at Mental Health Australia, funded by the Australian Government Department of Health. 

What do National Register members do?

National Register members have skills and expertise in advocacy, policy development, communication and leadership. Members have opportunities to apply for national level mental health consumer and carer representative positions, attend events and training designed for National Register members, and network with peers and the broader mental health sector.

Representatives are expected to actively participate in the program, keep up to date with current trends and issues in the sector, and provide reports on representative activities.

National level representation

Mental Health Australia is regularly approached by a wide range of organisations seeking national level mental health consumer and carer representatives. The National Register secretariat at Mental Health Australia promotes these opportunities to National Register members.

Opportunities may include, for example, representative positions on national committees, boards, working groups and evaluations, as well as speaking opportunities at conferences and events. National Register members have previously engaged with organisations such as the National Mental Health Commission, the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP), and many others.

Unless otherwise stated at time of promotion, all representative opportunities offered to National Register members will have travel, accommodation and other meeting costs covered. Mental Health Australia always advocates for appropriate remuneration for representatives.

Development opportunities

Induction training, ongoing development opportunities and support are available to all National Register members, including attendance at the Annual Issues & Opportunities Workshop (see below).

2018 Annual Issues & Opportunities Workshop

Each year, Mental Health Australia hosts an Annual Issues and Opportunities Workshop for members of the National Register and National Mental Health Consumer & Carer Forum (NMHCCF) members (for more information on the NMHCCF, please visit https://nmhccf.org.au/).

These two-day workshops aim to further develop the representative skills of mental health consumers and carers already participating in national policy initiatives. In particular, the workshops are designed to develop representatives’ advocacy, policy development and leadership skills. They also provide an opportunity to discuss national issues important to mental health consumers and carers, as well as network and share representative experiences.

The 2018 Annual Issues and Opportunities Workshop was held in Melbourne on Thursday 24 and Friday 25 May 2018 and was attended by 55 mental health consumer and carer representatives.

An evaluation survey was sent to all participants following the 2018 Workshop. The responses from the survey have helped gauge the learning outcomes from the workshop sessions as well as the level of participant satisfaction.

The 2018 Annual Issues & Opportunities Workshop Report (PDF) provides highlights from the two day event and a summary of the key themes and outcomes raised by mental health consumers and carers during the workshop sessions or through the subsequent evaluation survey.

Who is on the National Register?

Please click here to view representative profiles for current National Register members.

Further information

If your organisation is seeking a mental health consumer and / or carer representative(s), please click here.

To view representative profiles for current National Register members, please click here.

If you would like further information about the National Register, please contact the National Register secretariat at Mental Health Australia by phone: (02) 6285 3100 or email: natreg@mhaustralia.org.

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