Who We Are arrow

About the sector

The community managed mental health sector is a key provider of mental health services and supports to people in the community.

Read more

Annual Reports

Find detailed information on the work we do to support the community managed mental health sector.

Read more

News & Events arrow

Latest news

Catch up on all the latest news and stories from the community-based mental health sector.

Read more

Sector events

Discover a range of ways to connect and learn through our events, forums and talks.

Read more

Our Work arrow

Mental Health Rights Manual

An online guide to help explain your legal and human rights in the mental health and human services systems in New South Wales.

Read more

Recovery Oriented Language Guide

Words are important. The language we use and the stories we tell have great significance to all involved.

See the guide

Registered training

Build on your lived experience or on-the-job experience and receive a nationally recognised qualification.

Read more

Customised training

Contact us to design a professional development solution for your workforce and organisation.

Read more

Membership arrow

Our members

Our members are community managed mental health organisations, large and small, local and NSW-wide service providers.

Read more

Become a member

Join a strong network of community-based mental health organisations delivering better outcomes for people in New South Wales.

Read more


New investment needed to address the gap in psychosocial support services

Opinion piece by Carmel Tebbutt, CEO Mental Health Coordinating Council

When the Productivity Commission released its watershed report into mental health over 12 months ago, it clearly articulated the need to expand the provision of psychosocial supports to the thousands of people missing out on these crucial services.

To help propel governments towards this solution, lived experience leaders and leading mental health organisations, including the Mental Health Coordinating Council, are working together to provide a strong, united voice and demonstrates agreement across the country on the need for mental health reform.

A National Psychosocial Support Program is needed to support the more than 150, 000 Australians with severe and complex mental health conditions currently missing out on the support they need.

The need for such a program was highlighted in the Productivity Commission’s 1,200 plus page report.

The seminal report forensically set out the challenges people face trying to get the support they need from our fragmented mental health system.

COVID-19 has meant the system has only become more stretched since the 2020 release of the Productivity Commission’s report, with the pandemic both contributing to heightened psychological distress and exacerbating long term mental illness.

Governments, both state and national, have responded to this need with welcome additional funding for mental health services.

This has included the national network of Head to Health community-based service hubs announced in the 2021 Federal Budget and millions of extra dollars provided by state governments for mental health recovery.

These are worthwhile measures, but they fall short of what is needed to transform the mental health system into a person-centred, integrated system of recovery focused  community mental health support and treatment services.

Existing initiatives do not address in any comprehensive way the needs of a group of people who often get overlooked in the current conversations about mental health reform. These are people living with severe and enduring mental ill health issues.

While many people living with mental ill health experience mild and episodic symptoms, for others, mental illness can seriously impact their job security, housing, social and family connections, and community activities.

This is where psychosocial support and rehabilitation services delivered by community mental health organisations can make all the difference.

Community-based organisations support people to manage daily activities, improve social and relationship skills, maintain housing and access employment and education opportunities.

People can live well in the community with the right mix of services.

If we are genuinely going improve the life outcomes for people with enduring mental health conditions, we need a comprehensive psychosocial support system.

We need services tailored to people’s needs and delivered in their own communities.

Unfortunately, still too many people living with severe mental health conditions are not getting what they need to live full and contributing lives.

While some receive support through the National Disability Insurance Scheme and others access state-funded services, like the well-regarded Housing and Accommodation Support Initiative in NSW, need is no guarantee of support.

Psychosocial supports are an incredibly important, but often overlooked solution for the 154,000 people the Productivity Commission estimated are currently missing out on these vital services.

There is great hope that the long anticipated National Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Agreement currently being negotiated between the Commonwealth, State and Territory Governments will address the needs of many people.

The National Agreement must include timeframes and funding for the rollout of a psychosocial support program, so all Australians can get the mental health services they need.

Despite in principle support from all governments and an earlier commitment by the Prime Minister that the Agreement would be finalised in November, it still has not been released.

Let’s hope we do not have to wait too much longer – people living with mental health conditions have waited long enough.

For media queries or to request an interview with Carmel Tebbutt, contact Lara Cole on lara.c@mhcc.org.au or 0421 202 643

Skip to content