Established in 2017, our research and advocacy function has become well-known and sought after across the sector, consistently being called upon by State and Federal government and inquiry bodies to inform local and national policy.

Mind promotes social inclusion and support for recovery as a fundamental human right. Our advocacy agenda is based on understanding people’s experiences and using this to develop suggestions for policy and system reform at a local, state and national level.

The advocacy function sits within the integrated Research, Advocacy and Policy Development division and works to fulfil Mind's strategic goal of contributing to a better, stronger Australian mental health system.

We work closely with the Mind community to understand their experiences, and strive for social change on issues that matter to them. In practice, this means our work involves:

  • policy analysis and evidence-based policy development
  • applied research, and initiatives to test new policy solutions
  • public awareness raising, campaign development and execution
  • coalition and network building.

Mind publishes public statements and comments to advocate on key issues in mental health. Follow our social media channels to keep up to date on the issues.

System reform and inquiries

System reform and inquiries

Mind is a key stakeholder in the mental health and wellbeing and psychosocial disability sector. We are recognised as an important and respected contributor to debates on system reform in Australia.

We contribute to public inquiries and seek to ensure that our voice, and that of the community we serve, is heard by Governments and decision-makers across Australia.

Our recent contributions to system reform include submissions and reports to the following bodies and inquiries:

Productivity Commission Inquiry into Mental Health 2018 – 2020

The Productivity Commission inquiry into mental health was a major opportunity to re-evaluate Australia’s mental health system.

In 2019, we provided a submission responding to the issues paper. This focused on the reforms needed to enhance productivity and participation for people with mental health needs. We also gave evidence at a public hearing in November 2019.

In 2020, we provided a follow-up submission to the draft report. We combined our experience, practice wisdom and research with Neami National, SANE Australia and Wellways to present a joint submission. The submission focused on areas we felt could be strengthened in the final report so that it best addressed the needs of all Australians.

Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System 2019 – 2021

The Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System (the Commission) represented a once in a generation opportunity to reset Victoria’s mental health system.

Mind contributed to the Commission’s inquiry by making submissions to the Terms of Reference for the Commission and the Commission’s general inquiry. Mind staff also gave evidence at hearings, participated in roundtables and provided follow-up advice and information at the Commission’s request.

The Commission released its Final Report in early 2021. This set a roadmap for reform in Victoria. The challenge in realising Victoria’s new mental health and wellbeing system will be in the implementation. Mind continues to be involved in implementing the reforms, contributing to consultations and inquiries.

Witness Statements

Select Committee Inquiry into Mental Health and Suicide Prevention

The House of Representatives established a Select Committee Inquiry into Mental Health and Suicide Prevention. The Committee has been tasked with examining the findings of key reports and strategic reviews of mental health and suicide, taking into account the 2019 bushfires and COVID-19 pandemic, along with the capacity of the workforce.

Mind contributed to the inquiry with a written response in March 2021, and was invited to give evidence to the public hearing in July 2021. Our submission provided recommendations for where the Committee should prioritise reform and provided suggestions for implementation. This included focusing on the need for a clear plan for the psychosocial sector, addressing workforce issues, and strengthening lived experience leadership.

Victorian Mental Health and Wellbeing Act: Update and Engagement Paper

The Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System recommended repealing the current Mental Health Act and replacing it with a new one by mid-2022.

Mind made a joint submission with Neami National and Wellways in response to the Update and Engagement paper released by the Department of Health. Our submission highlighted the need for the new Act to consider the views of people with lived experience, and welcomed further information about the Act’s application to the community managed mental health sector.

Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care – National Safety and Quality Mental Health Standards for Community Managed Organisations consultation paper

Mind made a joint submission with members of the Australian Psychosocial Alliance which highlighted the need for a mutual recognition scheme between different sets of standards, and strengthening terminology in the new standards to be more focused on the person and their recovery.

National Disability Insurance Scheme – Psychosocial disability

National Disability Insurance Scheme – Psychosocial disability

Mind is a strong supporter of the NDIS and the inclusion of people with psychosocial disability in the Scheme. In addition to our service delivery, we also work to improve policy settings to ensure NDIS participants with a psychosocial disability are able to have their support needs met based on their individual needs and goals. We regularly contribute to NDIS inquiries and submission processes based on consultations with people with lived experience.

Our recent contributions include submissions and reports to the following bodies and inquiries:

Submissions to the National Disability Insurance Agency

Review of the NDIS Act and the New NDIS Participant Service Guarantee

During the 2019 Federal Election the Australian Government promised to develop and legislate a NDIS Participant Service Guarantee to improve participant experiences with the NDIS. Mind’s submission calls for the Department of Social Services and the NDIS to take into account the unique needs of people with a psychosocial disability when implementing a Participant Service Guarantee and making amendments to the Act.

Joint Standing Committee into the NDIS – The provision of services under the NDIS for people with psychosocial disabilities related to a mental health condition

Our submission outlined the strengths and weaknesses of the NDIS for people with a psychosocial disability, and highlighted that implementation of the Scheme poses a significant challenge for the mental health system broadly, as It comes to terms with a newly constituted boundary between what is mental health and disability.

Joint Standing Committee into the NDIS submission #118 (March 2017)

Productivity Commission Inquiry into NDIS costs

Mind’s submission to the Productivity Commission Inquiry into NDIS costs highlighted the need for the scheme to work as well as possible for all participants, and commented measures to improve the inclusion of people with psychosocial disability in the scheme.

Housing and homelessness

Housing and homelessness

Since 1977, the provision of housing and residential services has been at the core of Mind’s approach to community based mental health care. Mind and the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute (AHURI) recently published Trajectories, one of the first national studies to examine the relationship between the housing and mental health pathways of people with lived experience of mental ill-health. We know housing is critical for mental health recovery, with the findings of Trajectories informing our submissions to recent inquiries. Find out more about Trajectories.

Our recent contributions include submissions and reports to the following bodies and inquiries:

Victorian 10-Year Strategy for Social and Affordable Housing

Mind made a submission to the Victorian Government’s 10-year strategy for social and affordable housing in Victoria which specifically addressed the needs of people experiencing mental ill health.

Parliamentary Inquiry into Homelessness in Victoria

Mind’s submission to the Legal and Social Issues Committee’s Inquiry into Homelessness urged consideration of the interrelationship between homelessness and mental health, and provided advice on supported living. We were also invited to appear as a witness at a public hearing of the Committee.

Social and community inclusion

Social and community inclusion

Our recent contributions include submissions and reports to the following bodies and inquiries:

Victorian LGBTIQ+ Strategy

Mind contributed to the Victorian Government’s consultation on the Victorian LGBTIQ+ Strategy, with our submission contributing our experience and expertise in delivering LGBTIQ+ specific services.

Families and carers

Families and carers

Caring Fairly is a national campaigning coalition led by unpaid carers, and specialist organisations and peak bodies that support and advocate for their rights. Established in August 2018 and led by Mind, Caring Fairly is made up of over 25 organisations, spanning all states and territories of Australia. A full list of coalition members can be found at caringfairly.org.au.

Between April – May 2020 the Caring Fairly Coalition conducted a survey to capture unpaid carers’ experiences of the COVID-19 pandemic. Overall, the results demonstrate the considerable impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on unpaid carers. You can read the COVID-19 Carer Survey Results full report here.

For more information visit Caring Fairly.

Caring Fairly made submissions to the following inquiries:

Productivity Commission into Mental Health

Caring Fairly made a submission to the Productivity Commission Inquiry into Mental Health, authored by Mind with input from Carers Australia, which focused on mental health carers. This was followed by a further response to the Draft Report.