The following roles and responsibilities in relation to governance of the Fourth Plan are proposed on the basis that the Fourth Plan is a Health Minister's Plan1 in the context of a whole of government approach.

Council of Australian Governments (COAG)

The Council of Australian Governments will be informed of progress in implementation of the Plan by the Australian Health Ministers' Conference (AHMC). As agreed by AHMC on 4 September 2009, COAG will receive annual reports on progress in implementation of the Fourth Plan via the National Mental Health Report.

Australian Health Ministers' Conference (AHMC)

At the AHMC meeting of 22 July 2008, health ministers noted the draft revised National Mental Health Policy as a basis for informing the development of a fourth, whole of government, National Mental Health Plan. At their 5 December 2008 meeting, AHMC noted the progress update from AHMAC which indicated that the Plan would be a health ministers' Plan in the context of a whole of government approach.

AHMC provides strategic direction to the Australian Health Ministers' Advisory Council (AHMAC) on mental health reform. It will lead implementation of the Plan and members will report on implementation of the Fourth Plan within their jurisdiction to AHMC. Partnerships with relevant Ministerial Councils and other stakeholders will also be established to progress cross portfolio aspects of the Fourth Plan and to promote further consideration of mental health reform by sectors other than health. Top of page

Australian Health Ministers' Advisory Council (AHMAC)

AHMAC will provide strategic advice to AHMC on progress and directions for mental health reform under the Fourth Plan. It also provides strategic direction to the Health Policy Priorities Principal Committee (HPPPC) on mental health reform.

AHMAC members will oversee implementation of the Fourth Plan within their jurisdiction.

Health Policy Priorities Principal Committee (HPPPC)

HPPPC will formalise partnerships with relevant Ministerial Advisory Councils through chairing the Cross Sectoral Mental Health Working Group which will progress cross portfolio aspects of the Plan and promote further adoption of mental health by other Ministerial Advisory Councils.

HPPPC is responsible for the provision of strategic advice to AHMAC on mental health reform under the Plan and also provides strategic direction to the MHSC.

HPPPC will monitor annual progress of implementation on the Fourth Plan including review of the strategy as required. HPPPC members will also provide strategic advice on implementation of the Fourth Plan within their jurisdiction Top of page

Mental Health Standing Committee

The MHSC has developed this Implementation Strategy, which includes health priorities for cross portfolio engagement and will progress health led actions under the Strategy. The MHSC will also develop an annual National Mental Health Report through the Mental Health Information Strategy Sub-Committee (MHISS) which will be considered by HPPPC, AHMAC, AHMC and COAG.

MHSC will support the HPPPC Chair in the establishment and ongoing work program of the new Cross Sectoral Mental Health Working Group to progress mental health reform with these sectors including the relevant priorities identified in the Implementation Strategy.

MHSC members will also be responsible for progression of the implementation of the Fourth Plan within their jurisdiction. Top of page

Cross sectoral national mental health plan implementation working group

As agreed by the Australian Health Ministers' Conference on 4 September 2009, a Cross Sectoral National Mental Health Plan Implementation Working Group has been established to progress the whole of government elements of the Fourth National Mental Health Plan.

The Terms of Reference for the Cross Sectoral Working Group are to:
  • Provide advice to the Australian Health Ministers' Conference (AHMC), other relevant Ministerial Councils and stakeholders represented in the membership of this Working Group, including the National Mental Health Consumer and Carer Forum, on strategies to achieve a whole of government approach to mental health.
  • Provide advice (to the AHMC, other relevant Ministerial Councils and stakeholders represented in the membership of this Working Group) on and oversee implementation of the actions within the Fourth Plan that have cross portfolio implications.
  • Develop a framework for Ministerial and Ministerial Council responsibility for implementation of Fourth Plan actions which provides clear accountability structures for all relevant Ministerial Councils including mechanisms for developing workplans, performance indicators and reporting mechanisms to Health Ministers.
  • Progress a specific focus on mental health directions and priorities within other Ministerial Council strategies and initiatives.
  • Contribute to identification and development of data and indicators for the Fourth Plan.
  • Contribute to annual reporting on implementation of the Fourth Plan. Top of page

Fourth national mental health plan for jurisdictional mental health groups

In July 2006, the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) endorsed a National Action Plan on Mental Health (2006 – 2011). To ensure Commonwealth and state and territory government initiatives being progressed under the COAG Plan are coordinated and delivered in a seamless way, the Premier or Chief Minister's department in each state and territory convened a COAG Mental Health Group.

These groups provided a useful forum for oversight and collaboration and involve Commonwealth and state and territory representatives. Engagement with non-government organisations, the private sector and consumer and carer representatives also occurs.

In addition to the continued work on specific mental health issues, these groups will also focus on the implementation of the Fourth National Mental Health Plan.

It is envisaged that these groups, in relation to the Fourth Plan, will:

  • Provide advice on strategies to achieve a whole of government approach to mental health within the jurisdiction.
  • Provide advice on and oversee implementation of the actions within the Fourth Plan that have cross portfolio implications.
  • Progress a specific focus on mental health directions and priorities within other portfolio strategies and initiatives.
  • Contribute to identification and development of jurisdictional data and indicators for the Fourth Plan.
  • Contribute to jurisdictional input to annual reporting on implementation of the Fourth Plan.
A map of the proposed governance structure is provided below. Top of page

Overarching Governance Structure – Implementation of the Fourth National Mental Health Plan (proposed)


Text equivalent below for overarching governance structure – implementation of the fourth national mental health plan (proposed)
Top of page

Text version of Overarching governance structure (proposed)


This diagram groups AHMC with the non-health ministerial councils. Below these are the ministerial advisory councils, particularly AHMAC. Below these are relevant subcommittees, particularly HPPPC and MHSC.

This block of ministerial councils, advisory councils and relevant sub-committees has a one-way relationship upwards to COAG, and two-way relationships with jurisdictional cross sectoral mental health groups and the Cross Sectoral National Mental Health Plan Implementation Working Group. Top of page

AHMC governance structure – implementation of the fourth national mental health plan (current)


Text equivalent below for AHMC governance structure – implementation of the fourth national mental health plan (current)

Large image of current AHMC governance structure (GIF 61 KB) Top of page

Text version of current AHMC governance structure

At the top of this structure, the Australian Health Ministers' Conference (AHMC) reports to the Council of Australian Governments (COAG).

Below AHMC is the Australian Health Ministers Advisory Council (AHMAC) and below this there are four committees:
  • Health Policy Priorities Principal Committee (HPPPC)
  • Health Workforce Principal Committee (HWPC)
  • Australian Population Health Development Principal Committee (APHDPC)
  • National E-Health Information Principal Committee (NEHIPC)
The HPPPC has a two-way relationship with the Mental Health Standing Committee (MHSC), while the HWPC has two-way relationships with MHSC and one of its subcommittees, the Mental Health Workforce Advisory Committee.

In addition to the relationships with HPPPC and HWPC, the MHSC has two-way relationships with three sub-committees:

  • Mental Health Information Strategies Subcommittee
  • Safety and Quality Partnerships Subcommittee
  • Mental Health Workforce Advisory Committee Top of page
Below the Mental Health Information Strategies Subcommittee are:
  • National Mental Health Performance Sub Committee
  • National Minimum Data Set Sub Committee
  • National Mental Health Information Expert Advisory Panel which comprises:
    • Older Persons Panel
    • Adult Panel
    • Child and Adolescent Panel
    • Forensics Panel
Below the Safety and Quality Partnerships Subcommittee are:
  • Safe Transport Working Group - SA
  • Reducing Adverse Events Working Party - WA
  • National Standards Implementation Group - ACT
  • Seclusion and Restraint Working Party - ACT/ Qld
  • Reducing Suicide and Deliberate Self Harm Sub Working Group - Commonwealth
Below the Mental Health Workforce Advisory Committee are:
  • MHPOD Project Steering Committee
  • MHNET Implementation Group
  • National Mental Health Workforce Strategy Plan Project Steering Committee Top of page

Footnotes

1 In some jurisdictions, implementation might be the responsibility of other Ministers or equivalent.