About the strategy
The National Mental Health Workforce Strategy 2022–2032 sets out how governments will work together with the sector to meet the demands of the mental health system. This includes how to best attract, train, maximise, support, and retain the workforce required to meet current and future demands of the mental health system.
Health Ministers endorsed the strategy in November 2022.
Why it is important
Poor mental health is a pressing issue, the challenge is complex and impacts all Australians. Almost half of us will experience a mental health condition at some point in our lives.
The demand for mental health support and services is increasing over time. There is an urgent need to create a well-rounded and responsive mental health system across Australia. To meet the needs of all Australians, we need a skilled and contemporary workforce.
The strategy aims to address challenges with growing and sustaining the mental health workforce in Australia, including:
- workforce shortages
- stigma and negative views of working in mental health
- unclear roles about who can perform what service and in which setting, particularly when working in multidisciplinary teams and in emerging workforces
- limited connection and collaboration across mental health professions and disciplines
- unequal distribution of workforce, particularly affecting regional, rural, and remote areas
- limited availability and use of high-quality data to inform workforce planning
- increase in demand for services.
We created the strategy with advice from:
- independent National Mental Health Workforce Strategy Taskforce
- state and territory governments
- public consultation with consumer and carer representatives, employers in the mental health sector, peak bodies and professional associations, and vocational and higher education providers.
The National Mental Health Workforce Working Group will oversee implementation of the Strategy and coordinate effort and investment in the mental health workforce.
The working group consists of representatives from all governments and those with a lived or living experience of mental ill-health. They will be responsible for taking forward workforce actions under the National Agreement. The National Mental Health Workforce Working Group will help with the creation of working groups targeted at priority areas for action. It will also work closely with representatives from the mental health sector as needed to progress its work.
The working group first met in March 2023 and will continue to meet periodically to progress joint action under the Strategy.