Mental health policy

Strategies, policies and plans for improving the mental health of Australians.

Page last updated: 21 October 2016


Fifth National Mental Health Plan

The Fifth National Mental Health Plan (Fifth Plan) is currently being developed by the Australian Health Ministers’ Advisory Council (AHMAC) Mental Health Drug and Alcohol Principal Committee (MHDAPC).

The Fifth Plan articulates nationally agreed priority areas and actions for the next five years to achieve an integrated mental health system. The Fifth Plan will build on the foundation established by four previous National Mental Health Plans, existing state and territory mental health and suicide prevention plans, and national health and mental health reform efforts.

A national consultation process to support the development of the Fifth Plan will commence in November 2016. To inform consultation discussions, view the consultation draft of the Fifth Plan.

Australian Government Response to Review of Mental Health Programmes and Services

The Australian Government is committed to developing a more effective and efficient mental health system that improves the lives of Australians with, or at risk of, mental illness. On 26 November 2015, the Australian Government Response to Contributing Lives, Thriving Communities - Review of Mental Health Programmes and Services was announced.

Review of Mental Health Programmes and Services

On 16 April 2015 the Australian Government released the Final Report of the national Review of Mental Health Programmes and Services - Contributing Lives, Thriving Communities - undertaken by the National Mental Health Commission.

The Government tasked the National Mental Health Commission with conducting a national review of mental health programmes and services. The focus of the review was on assessing the efficiency and effectiveness of programmes and services in supporting individuals experiencing mental ill-health and their families.

The report can be accessed via the National Mental Health Commission's website.

A summary of actions within the Australian Government response to the recommendations of the review is available.


Mental Health Expert Reference Group

The Australian Government established a Mental Health Expert Reference Group (ERG) to provide advice to inform the response to the Review of mental health programmes and services.

Further information regarding the advice provided by the ERG.

Policy publications

The programmes being implemented by the Department of Health, with the aim of improving the mental health of Australians, are directed by the: