Outcomes to the review of the AHMAC Committee structure


A review of the Australian Health Ministers' Advisory Council (AHMAC) Committee Second Tier was undertaken in July 2012. At its meeting in August 2012, AHMAC endorsed the findings of the review which included that the Mental Health Standing Committee (MHSC) would not need to continue under the new AHMAC Committee structure due to the overlapping jurisdictional membership of the MHSC and Mental Health, Drug and Alcohol Principal Committee (MHDAPC). The work of MHSC will be taken up by the MHDAPC.

The Mental Health Information Strategy Subcommittee (MHISS) and the Safety and Quality Partnership Subcommittee (SQPS) have been made standing committees of the MHDAPC. The Business Rules and Terms of Reference for both MHISS and SQPS have been amended to reflect these changes. Work plans for both standing committees have been examined by the MHDAPC in the context of mental health reform objectives and will be adjusted to reflect emerging priorities.

This site will be updated in 2013 to reflect these changes.

Overview


The Mental Health Standing Committee (MHSC) reports to the Australian Health Ministers' Conference (AHMC) through the Health Policy Priorities Principal Committee (HPPPC) and the Australian Health Ministers' Advisory Council (AHMAC).

The key roles of the MHSC are to oversee and monitor the implementation of the current Fourth National Mental Health Plan and the COAG National Action Plan on Mental Health and to support cross-jurisdictional communication and information exchange to improve both consistency and outcomes from national mental health reforms.

Membership


The membership is endorsed by the HPPPC. The MHSC, as a decision making committee to progress national policy and reform, members must have the ability to represent their jurisdiction/organisation.
  • Chair (a Director of Mental Health appointed by the HPPPC)
  • Directors of Mental Health or equivalent in each state and territory
  • A representative from the Department of Health and Ageing (DoHA)
  • A representative from the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA)
  • A representative from the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (FaHCSIA)
  • A representative from the private sector, currently nominated through the Private Mental Health Alliance (PMHA)
  • Chair of the Mental Health Council of Australia
  • A mental health consumer representative and a mental health carer representative. The Mental Health Council of Australia (MHCA) is requested to seek nominations from the co-chairs of the National Mental Health Consumer and Carer Forum for these representatives. The carer and consumer members must be representatives of consumer and carer organisations and are to each represent their constituency and not the MHCA.
Observers
  • A representative from the New Zealand Ministry of Health
  • A representative from the Private Mental Health Alliance
  • CEO of the Mental Health Council of Australia

History


In 1991 the Australian Health Minister' Advisory Council (AHMAC) established the National Mental Health Working Group (NMHWG) to oversee the implementation of the National Mental Health Strategy (NMHS), and to provide a forum for cross-jurisdictional information exchange to encourage a consistent approach to the implementation of the NMHS. NMHWG also provided advice to the Commonwealth Minister for Health on expenditure of mental health national project funding.

In 2006, AHMAC reviewed its subcommittees which resulted in the renaming of the NMHWG to the Mental Health Standing Committee (MHSC).

Terms of Reference


  1. To progress current national policy and priority issues relating to mental health and to identify and make recommendations on emerging issues.
  2. To review and update the National Mental Health Plan, when due or requested by Health Ministers.
  3. To progress national policy and priority issues related to mental health identified in the current COAG National Action Plan on Mental Health, and as required by the Health Policy Priorities Principal to report progress to the Health Policy Priorities Principal Committee (HPPPC).
  4. To coordinate annual reporting on progress in implementation of the current National Mental Health Plan and the COAG National Action Plan on Mental Health.
  5. To oversee and monitor the implementation of the current National Mental Health Plan and the COAG National Action Plan on Mental Health.
  6. To provide government, non-government, private sector, consumer and carer perspectives on priorities for, approaches to, and the conduct of national projects funded under the National Mental Health Strategy.
  7. To build strategic alliances with key groups and sectors that can inform practical policies that impact on mental health, including effective links with the Mental Health Workforce Advisory Committee, the National Health Information Standards and Statistics Committee and other committees as required.
  8. To support cross-jurisdictional communication and information exchange to improve both consistency and outcomes from national mental health reforms and developments.
  9. The MHSC may co-opt expertise or establish short term working parties as deemed necessary, to progress individual priorities.

Secretariat


MHSC Secretariat
c/- Mental Health Policy Unit
ACT Health Directorate
GPO Box 825
CANBERRA ACT 2601

Ph: (02) 6205 4395
Email: MHSC Secretariat at mhsc@act.gov.au