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We work closely with:

Minister for Mental Health 

The Coordinator-General reports directly to the Minister for Mental Health providing advice and reporting on progress towards implementing the vision. 

Mental Health Advisory Council

This council is a statutory advisory body established to provide advice to the Minister for Mental Health. Members are appointed by the Minister on the basis of their individual expertise. The Council provides advice on mental health issues, reforms, policy, legislation and other matters in relation to mental health and social and emotional wellbeing as requested by the Minister.

Peak Mental Health Non-Government Organisations

We meet regularly with peak mental health non-government organisations to work in partnership on mental health and wellbeing initiative across the ACT to address the key systemic issues and social determinants of mental health.  The peak organisations and the Office work jointly on co-design initiatives. 

Mental Health and Wellbeing Inter-Directorate Committee (previously known as the Agency Stewardship Group)

This committee comprises representatives from all ACT Government Directorates and drives across government collaboration to identify and prioritise mental health and wellbeing initiatives. The Committee contributes to the identification of systemic gaps and opportunities to address the social determinants of health.  The committee will have a key role in delivering and reporting on actions in this work plan. 

Joint Mental Health Commissioners

The National Mental Health Commission, State / Territory Commissions and the New Zealand Commissioner meet to consider the progress of mental health reforms and the reform agenda.

We will work collaboratively through other agencies and organisations and community members through a variety of engagement mechanisms. 

Work Plan

We worked closely with stakeholders across government, non-government organisations, consumers and carers, and the community to develop the territory-wide vision for mental health in the ACT and Office for Mental Health and Wellbeing Work plan. 

The Work Plan was developed with the community – for the community – we’re determined to look promote the mental health and wellbeing of all Canberrans. It sets a way forward and builds on positive work happening across the territory to ensure better planning and coordination of information, support and services across the social and economic determinants of health. The plan brings together contributions from people with lived experience, carers and family members, the community mental health sector and the wider community. Our Work Plan articulates in detail the following three themes; mentally healthy communities and workplaces; support for individuals, families and carers; and, system capacity and workforce. Read our plan here

Major Projects

Commitment to Community Engagement

We are committed to working with the community to ensure that a range of viewpoints are considered, and quality community engagement methods and strategies are used. We recognise that it is not possible to involve all interested people in each decision-making process. Read our Commitment to Community Engagement here. To learn more about our commitment to community engagement please see the Resources section.

Children and Young People Review

Mental health and wellbeing for children and young people continues to be a priority for the Office. To further understand the issues facing children and young people in the ACT, the Office undertook a co-design process with the community and key stakeholders to identify gaps and potential solutions for our younger community in relation to their mental health and wellbeing. We had 729 people contribute through the online platforms and 162 people attend the co-design workshops.

Throughout the consultation we heard that children and young people want to understand what they are experiences and want the skills and knowledge to assist not only themselves, but also their peers. We heard that young adults want to be able to access the right services at the right time, and that services need to be affordable and well resourced.

As a result of this review and the recommendations from our community, we have a plan to undertake the necessary steps in order to support children and young people in the ACT to enhance their mental health and wellbeing and prevent more severe illness. The findings and recommendations of this review have now been published in the Review of Children and Young People in the ACT Report.

Children laughing

ACT LifeSpan

ACT Lifespan is an evidence-based approach to integrated suicide prevention in Australia. It combines nine strategies that have strong evidence for suicide prevention into one community-led approach incorporating health, education, frontline services, business and the community.

Youth Aware Mental Health (YAM) Program

Through the ACT LifeSpan suicide prevention framework, the Office is facilitating the roll out of the YAM program across the ACT commencing in 2020. The program aims to build resilience, encourage help-seeking and equip young people with the skills and confidence to look after themselves and each other. Further information is located here.

Online Youth Navigation Portal 

We are in the early planning phase to design an Online Youth Navigation Portal as recommended by the Youth Advisory Council. The portal will provide individualised online and phone services for young people, their friends and family, or other professionals seeking access and support in relation to their mental health and wellbeing. 

Wellbeing Framework

The Chief Minister launched the Wellbeing Framework on Canberra Day 2020. In partnership with the community, the ACT Government developed Australia's first Wellbeing Framework. The ACT Wellbeing Framework identifies and will in the future report on high level indicator outcomes for Canberra. To learn more about the ACT Wellbeing Framework please visit:

The Office contributed to the development of the Wellbeing Framework as part pf the whole of government approach. Following the launch of the Wellbeing Framework there will be further consolidation of indicators include the mental health indicators. 

ACT Regional Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan

The ACT Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan is a five-year plan developed jointly by the Capital Health Network, ACT Health including the Office for Mental Health and Wellbeing, Canberra Health Services, Mental Health Community Coalition, Mental Health Consumer Network and Carers ACT. The ACT Plan is informed by the priorities of the Fifth National Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan and speak to the local context and needs of the ACT region. The Office continues to work alongside other stakeholder to finalise and implement the plan.

Page last updated on: 1 May 2020