Community Mental Health Australia - CMHA




Community Mental Health Australia (CMHA) is a coalition of the eight state and territory peak community mental health organisations, Mental Health Coordinating Council, Vicserv, Queensland Alliance, Mental Health Coalition of SA, Mental Health Council of Tasmania, Western Australian Association for Mental Health, Mental Health Community Coalition of ACT and Northern Territory Mental Health Coalition. CMHA was established to provide leadership and direction promoting the benefits of community mental health and recovery services across Australia.

CMHA aims to represent the community managed mental health sector in national initiatives related to mental health and social inclusion, enhance the capacity of coalition members to represent, support and strengthen the non-government community mental health sector and to develop joint policy targeted at supporting people with mental health problems to live fulfilling lives in the community.

CMHA consults with and represents over 800 organisations across Australia and through its networks is in contact with the views of consumers, their families, carers, service providers and community members. CMHA is an active member of the Mental Health Council of Australia and collaborates with the Council on policy issues relevant to the community sector.

Go to CMHA website


Current CMHA Projects

Taking Our Place: Community Mental Health Australia - Working Together to Improve Mental Health in the Community

CMHA is a not-for-profit entity with a focus on improving the quality of and access to community managed recovery oriented psychosocial rehabilitation and support services. The four year journey to establish CMHA as an incorporated association brought together the various concerns and priorities of eight separately constituted organisations, all of whom are funded by and work alongside numerous departments of state, territory and federal governments who have diverse perspectives on the appropriate role and function of the community mental health sector.

The community managed mental health sector is uniquely placed to facilitate recovery and social inclusion opportunities for people living with - or at risk to develop - mental health problems, as well as their families and carers.

A number of priority areas relating to mental health and well-being have been identified by the Australian Social Inclusion Board. These include:

  • Supporting people with a mental illness to find appropriate employment/education
  • Tackling the social exclusion resulting from homelessness and the lack of affordable housing
  • Supporting early intervention and prevention for those at greatest risk of long-term disadvantage through health education and family relationship services.

National Health and Hospital Reform is yet to fully consider the contribution and situation of the community mental health sector. For this reason, an increased understanding of who the sector is, the services it provides, the staff and volunteers that provide them and the developing evidence base for the effectiveness of community managed mental health services is critical. 

This publication has been developed toward closing that knowledge gap. Its purpose is to familiarise the reader with Community Mental Health Australia (CMHA) and the range of services provided to people affected by mental illness by community sector organisations.

Taking Our Place: Community Mental Health Australia - Working Together to Improve Mental Health in the Community can be accessed here

Day to Day Living (D2DL) Capacity Building Project

CMHA has initiated a two year national project funded by DoHA to facilitate the identification and dissemination of good practice models among Day to Day Living (D2DL) program providers.  More

Mental Health Non-Government Organisation National Minimum Data Set Project

The contribution made by mental health NGOs in providing mental health services to people living with a mental illness, their families and carers has increased significantly over the past few decades. The Mental Health Non-Government (NGO) National Minimum Data Set (NMDS) Project represented a significant step toward establishing a national mental health NGO data collection. Community Mental Health Australia (CMHA) through MHCC and in partnership with the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) worked on the project from March till July 2011. The MH NGO NMDS project aimed to develop a mental health non-government organisation (NGO) national minimum data set. 

The main purpose for collecting nationally consistent information on the activity of mental health NGOs is to provide reliable data to better inform policy, practice and planning of national mental health NGO activities to support Australians living with a mental illness, their carers and families. The data obtained from a national collection will better inform policy and planning of mental health NGO activities in supporting people living with a mental illness. The project was undertaken through a process of consultation with Australian and state and territory government funders, mental health NGO peak bodies and NGOs. A national consultation workshop was held on 8 June 2011.

The project deliverables included a mental health NGO service taxonomy, a data set specification for the national collection and a preferred data collection methodology. The report of the project has now been forwarded to the Department of Health and Ageing for consideration.

For further information contact MHCC on 9555 8388 or email:  or CMHA on (07) 3252 9411 at: