The NSW Community Managed Mental Health Sector

The community managed sector is predominantly made up of not-for-profit organisations providing community-based support services that help keep people well in the community. They provide prevention, early intervention and rehabilitation programs and psychosocial services that support recovery from a mental health condition. Some also provide treatment related and counselling services.

The community managed mental health sector has a long history that predates the advent of psychiatric medication, deinstitutionalisation and community mental health treatment. Nationally, there are about 800 organisations that deliver a complex and diverse range of mental health rehabilitation and support services. These community-managed organisations (CMOs) employ about 20,000 skilled mental health practitioners with more than 70% holding tertiary qualifications (i.e., allied health degrees, vocational qualifications).

The skills and role of CMOs are critical for achieving the government's stated policy objectives of recovery and social inclusion for people living with mental illness.

Mental health programs delivered by CMOs in NSW are diverse with an estimated 247 CMOs delivering 347 mental health programs and are fully described in MHCC's NSW Community Managed Mental Health Sector Mapping Report (2010).

The seven core CMO mental health service types identified in the report are:

  • Accommodation support and outreach;
  • Employment and education;
  • Leisure and recreation;
  • Family and carer support;
  • Self-help and peer support;
  • Helpline and counselling services;
  • Promotion, information and advocacy.

For more information related to mapping the NSW community managed mental health sector please click here.


The WayAhead Directory

The WayAhead Directory is a comprehensive, free online database of mental health and community services in NSW. The Directory contains up to date information on 6000 services in NSW. There is a wealth of information on mental health and other services, including resources that help explain and define common mental health terms and jargon, as well as fact sheets, legislation ,current government programs, where to get help, and treatments.