CMHA Submission: Close the Gap Refresh

27, April, 2018

27th April 2018

Spotlight CMHA IconCommunity Mental Health Australia (CMHA) recently made a submission to the Close the Gap Refresh. This process is being conducted by the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet with the timeframe being ten years since Closing the Gap began.

CMHA is a member of the Close the Gap Campaign Steering Committee and supports input by the Close the Gap Campaign to the Close the Gap Refresh.



Five key points were raised in the submission in relation to mental health and well-being:

  • A more effective relationship between different sectors can be improved by the responses developed by government being led by Aboriginal and Torres Islander people, and for government and other sectors to use the responses already developed by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
  • CMHA supports the Aboriginal Community Controlled Services (ACCHS) being considered the preferred providers for health services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and calls on Government to ensure this is done collaboratively with the community-managed mental health sector to extend and retain the expertise that exists in the community-managed mental health sector.
  • A key factor is making national policies and strategies relevant to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. What happens at a national level and decisions made by all levels of government will trickle down and affect what happens on the ground.
  • A part of examining what is working would be to include where funding for priorities is situated and what it funds. Any action plans associated with Closing the Gap should also include what specific funding and resourcing is being allocated.
  • There should be indicators which either reflect or are directly about services and programs incorporating culturally appropriate practices and policies. Prosperity and well-being should also be an aspect of and referred back to in any indicators. Measurable indicators should be around social determinants of health, such as health, education, housing and racism.

To read the full submission, please click here 

Media Release from CMHA: World Mental Health Day – A reminder that this is about people

10, October, 2017


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World Mental Health Day – A reminder that this is about people

On World Mental Health Day, Kerry Hawkins, Vice President Community Mental Health Australia has asked for governments, agencies and anyone involved in mental health to remember who this is about – people living with a mental illness and psychosocial disability.

“Every year on World Mental Health Day we take the time to focus on mental health and the various issues that impact people living with a mental illness. This can be about stigma, employment, homelessness or a range of other issues”.

“The most important factor for us to remember is that this is about people living with a mental illness and how everyone – whether that is government, service providers, organisations or the community – directs efforts on policy, programs or anything else to develop approaches which enable people to recover and be contributing members of their community”, Ms Hawkins said.

“CMHA promotes the recovery of people living with a mental illness so that they are contributing citizens and included in all of the economic and social aspects of their community. A recovery-based approach to mental illness – built on years of work and evidence-based good practice – is what we know works and where the person, their family, loved ones and carers, are at the centre of what is done”.

“At a time when community managed mental health is going through significant changes, in particular being impacted by the NDIS, we must remember that we aren’t dealing with line items on a budget, we are dealing with often complex, high needs people. These people should get high quality, comprehensive support when and where they need it”, Ms Hawkins said.

“Community Mental Health Australia and the community managed mental health sector stands willing to work with government at all levels to make sure the various changes that are happening work, but they must listen to us. We do not want to see mental health go backwards or to lose the expertise in our sector that we have worked hard to develop. Again, this should be about what is best for the person living with a mental illness or psychosocial disability and not the bottom line of a budget.”

Media contact – Amanda Bresnan, Executive Director, 0417 193 407

Twitter @CMHA2016

Click here to download the Media Release

QAMH to Play a Role on the New Mental Health Advisory Panel via CMHA: Members Update: CMHA

11, July, 2017

11th July 2017.

QAMH is pleased to announce that it has an avenue for input into the Turnbull Government’s Primary Health Network (PHN) Advisory Panel through Community Mental Health Australia’s (CMHA) membership on the Panel.

The Panel is co-chaired by Mental Health Australia CEO, Frank Quinlan and National Health Commission CEO, Dr Peggy Brown, to ensure that funding and support is delivered through the 31 PHNs across Australia.

“This is an excellent opportunity for QAMH to provide feedback to the PHNs from our members at a local level,” said Kris Trott, CEO.

Minister for Health and Minister for Sport, the Hon Greg Hunt MP has said that mental health is a priority for the Turnbull government and through the 31 PHNs, we are able to create outcomes for those in need.

The new panel will play a key role in achieving more front-line mental health services for Australians who need it.

The advisory panel will serve four main functions:

  • To review and provide guidance regarding the mental health plans developed by the 31 PHNs nationally
  • To review and provide advice on the guidelines for mental health commissioning provided to the PHNs
  • Provide advice on strategies to support the PHNs to effectively carry out their commissioning responsibilities in mental health
  • Provide recommendations on ongoing governance and coordination of PHNs commissioning of mental health services.

Bulletin: CMHA’s Gives Evidence at Joint Standing Committee Hearing 

3, May, 2017

Community Mental Health Australia (CMHA), Australia’s coalition of mental health peak bodies, of which QAMH is a partner, was one of a small number of organisations invited to give evidence at a hearing of the Inquiry of the Joint Standing Committee into the provision of services under the NDIS for people with psychosocial disabilities related to a mental health condition.

CMHA President, Liz Crowther and Executive Director, Amanda Bresnan appeared before the Committee last Friday 28 March.

In their opening statement, Liz and Amanda expressed concern that ‘the NDIS is not being implemented as it was envisaged, in particular for people with psychosocial disabilities’. They concluded that:

​The key issue is that the NDIS was never meant to be and cannot replace the mental health system. Both disability and psychosocial rehabilitation and recovery services must be part of a continuum of support for people living with a mental illness. It is vital that governments’ work in partnership with community managed mental health service providers to develop solutions to concerns and issues that have emerged. Both the federal, state and territory governments are responsible, and we as a community are responsible.

Read CMHA opening statement – Joint Standing Commitee NDIS hearing 28 April 2017.