Skip to content

National Stigma and Discrimination Reduction Strategy

As a part of the mental health reform agenda the National Mental Health Commission has been tasked with developing a National Stigma and Discrimination Reduction Strategy.

National Stigma and Discrimination Reduction Strategy

The National Stigma and Discrimination Reduction Strategy (The 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 objective 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
  • Employment
  • Social Services, Disability, Income Support and Housing

The Strategy will be developed in partnership with people with lived experience of mental ill-health and people who have been directly affected by stigma, along with people with other forms of expertise across the health sector and broader community.

The Commission has established a Steering Committee and series of Technical Advisory Groups to guide the development of the National Stigma and Discrimination Reduction Strategy. The Steering Committee and Technical Advisory Groups are 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 Membership 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
  • Lisa Paul AO PSM
  • 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.

Project timeline

A public and interjurisdictional consultation period will be held in 2022.

In the coming twelve months, there will also be additional opportunities for people with lived experience, family, friends, carers and support people which include:

  • Workshops to inform the content of the Strategy
  • Submissions to support the Strategy
  • Feedback on the draft strategy
  • Targeted draft strategy consultations
  • Nominate to participate in workshops to inform the design of the strategy (September to December 2021 and June to July 2022)
  • Provide submissions in response to the draft strategy (April to June 2022)
  • Participate in targeted consultations (April to July 2022)

Further information regarding these opportunities will be available on the Commission’s website and social media channels.

Enquiries regarding the Strategy can be directed to [email protected]