Mapping the Community Managed Mental Health Sector

As we enter into a new national mental health landscape in 2016 it is essential to have a better understanding of the capacity of the NSW community managed mental health sector, to identify ways in which it can be developed and to effectively anticipate and respond to the needs of people affected by mental health conditions.

In 2010, MHCC completed an extensive mapping of the NSW community managed mental health sector. This involved a detailed survey of community managed organisations (CMOs), a capacity-building literature review and multiple stakeholder consultations.

The NSW Community Managed Mental Health Sector Mapping Report focuses on CMOs providing mental health services for people affected by mental health problems, their families and carers in NSW. Through this project the MHCC sought to achieve two objectives:

  1. Develop a current picture of the community managed mental health sector in NSW; and,
  2. Provide information, using evidence based methodology, to guide in future planning and sector development.

Download the full report

This information was further updated in 2013 as part of the MHCC Sector Benchmarking Project. More information about the benchmarking project is available here

Contents of the Sector Mapping Report

The report is designed around a Framework for building sector capacity. This is comprised of four sector capacity elements: Client Experience; Service Provision; Research & Development; and Policy & Planning.

The Literature Review details the process MHCC undertook in forming the Framework, drawing on government and academic theories and models relevant to community mental health sector capacity. Each of the sector capacity elements is not, in isolation, enough to bring about effective sector performance and development. It is essential to strengthen all four elements concurrently.



The Framework provides context for the results of an extensive survey undertaken by MHCC of CMOs providing mental health programs in NSW. The Sector Mapping Survey yielded valid responses from 247 organisations providing information on 350 community managed mental health programs. The findings of the Sector Mapping Survey are extensive and are described in detail.

A brief summary of survey findings is included in the Executive Summary, however, a more comprehensive review of all findings is strongly recommended for full contextualisation of results.

Key Recommendations