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About the sector

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

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Annual Reports

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

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Latest news

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

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Sector events

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

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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.

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Recovery Oriented Language Guide

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

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Registered training

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

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Customised training

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

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Our members

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

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Become a member

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

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About the Sector


Supporting people to live well

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

Community-managed mental health organisations support people to live well in the community and meet everyday challenges when and where they need it most.

Most organisations are non-government, not-for-profits who deliver services across a wide range of core areas.

These include:

  • 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


community managed organisations

Community managed organisations are one of the key pillars of Australia’s mental health system. It is generally accepted that mental health services are best delivered in community settings. Through increased access to community-based supports people with mental health conditions are supported to live well, avoid crises and stay out of hospital.

While many people living with a mental health condition experience mild and episodic symptoms, for others their mental health condition can be severe and enduring. This can seriously impact their job security, housing, social and family connections and community activities.

What is psychosocial support?

Many community-managed organisations deliver what is known as psychosocial support and rehabilitation services to maximise recovery for people living with mental health conditions.

Psychosocial support benefits people whose mental health condition severely affect their ability to function on a day-to-day basis. Psychosocial services and programs  include, but are not limited to:

  • Support with daily living, such as cooking, shopping, attending appointments and taking care of physical health needs
  • Social connectedness, like participating in sport or social activities
  • Support to access education, training or employment
  • Support with and for family and carers
  • Support to maintain engagement with mental health treatment services
  • Information, referral and advocacy

Through these support services, people with lived experience of mental health conditions can gain independence and keep well in their local communities.

Championing a strong sector

The community-managed mental health sector is recognised as a significant part of the mental health service system in New South Wales and around the country.

In New South Wales, the community mental health workforce accounts for over a quarter of the total mental health workforce.

(Mental Health Workforce Profile: Community Managed Organisations Report 2021, Mental Health Coordinating Council.)

The NSW community-managed mental health workforce is estimated at nearly 6,000 paid workers, working across direct care, management and administration. Overall, more than 25% of the entire mental health workforce works at a community-managed organisation.

Workforce surveys show the community-managed mental health workforce is female dominated, youthful and better qualified than the general Australian workforce. Our workforce is growing at a significant pace, increasing at 6.5% each year.

Community Mental Health Australia

Community Mental Health Australia is an industry alliance of state community mental health peak bodies. Community Mental Health Australia promotes the importance and benefits of community mental health and recovery services across Australia.

Community Mental Health Australia provides a unified voice for state and territory peak community mental health organisations.

  • Mental Health Coordinating Council (NSW)
  • Mental Health Community Coalition (ACT)
  • Mental Health Coalition of South Australia
  • Mental Health Council of Tasmania
  • Queensland Alliance for Mental Health
  • Western Australian Association for Mental Health
  • Northern Territory Mental Health Coalition


Community Mental Health Australia has a strong focus on the value and contribution that not-for-profit, non-government community mental health services and people with lived experience bring, for everyone in the community.

Learn more

Did you know there are over 6,000 mental health or community services in NSW?

Visit the WayAhead Directory to find an online database of services in NSW

Visit the directory

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Our Members

Make an impact – our members are part of a strong network of community organisations.

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Advocating for better policy and reform through submissions to government, human service agencies and key stakeholders.

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Publications & Initiatives

Promoting mental health and wellbeing in NSW through a range of initiatives that build and develop a strong community sector.

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