National Stigma and Discrimination Reduction Strategy
As a part of the nation's mental health reform agenda the National Mental Health Commission has been tasked with developing a National Stigma and Discrimination Reduction Strategy.
The National Stigma and Discrimination Reduction Strategy includes a long-term vision for Australia where stigma and discrimination on the basis of mental ill-health are no longer barriers to people living long and contributing lives.
The Strategy’s focus and objectives include:
- Reduce self-stigma amongst those who experience mental ill-health and those who support them
- Reduce public stigma by changing attitudes and behaviours in the general community and amongst identified target audiences
- Take steps towards eliminating structural stigma and discrimination towards those affected by mental ill-health in identified settings.
The Strategy will initially concentrate on stigma and discrimination reduction in the following settings:
- Mental Health System
- Health System
- Financial Services, Insurance and Law
- Education and Training
- Social Services, Disability, Income Support and Housing
The Strategy is being developed through a collaborative process with people with a lived experience of mental ill-health, trauma, distress or suicidality, families, carers and support people, along with people with other forms of expertise across each workstream and the broader community.
The Commission has established a Steering Committee and series of Technical Advisory Groups to guide the development of the Strategy. The Steering Committee and Technical Advisory Groups are each co-chaired by people with lived experience and people with other forms of expertise in the specific settings the strategy aims to change.
The Steering Committee is chaired by Tim Heffernan and Professor the Hon. Kevin Bell AM QC and consists of the following members:
- Tanya Blazewicz
- Dr Tessa Boyd-Caine
- John Canning
- Dr Sarah Chalmers
- Kelly Clark
- Professor Allan Fels AO
- Maria Katsonis
- Mark Orr AM
- Dave Peters
- Professor Nicholas Procter
- Sam Regi
Alongside the Steering Committee, a series of Technical Advisory Groups will be convened to provide specific advice. These groups and their Co-Chairs are:
- Self-Stigma: Lucy Thomas and Tony Clarkson
- Public Stigma: Jess Mitchell and Associate Professor Jo Robinson
- Reducing Structural Stigma and Discrimination: Jo Rasmussen and Donnella Mills
- Measurement: Jo Farmer and Professor Phil Batterham.
Further information about the Strategy, its areas of focus, committee structure and supporting research, as well as ways to get involved, can be found on the project hub page.
Stigma is a persistent, dry wind that strips us of our humanity. I chose to be involved because the National Stigma and Discrimination Strategy has the potential to ensure that the human rights of people who touch this earth differently are actively supported, so that we can live our lives in the ways that we choose.
A 12-week public consultation period was held from 9 November 2022 and closed on 1 February 2023.
The Commission will be reviewing consultation feedback and using this to refine and finalise the Draft Strategy, for submission to government
Enquiries regarding the Strategy can be directed to [email protected]