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The consumer and carer perspective


In 2020, a significant proportion of consumers and carers told us that they are not experiencing integrated care, do not have access to the support services they need, do not receive coordinated physical and mental health care and have not seen any improvement in their mental health services in the last 12 months.

Consumers and carers also told us that experiencing stigma and discrimination remains common, both in healthcare settings and the broader community, and that not everyone feels safe when using mental health services.

Overall, the Consumer and Carer Survey does not provide any evidence that the Fifth Plan has progressed in achieving its intended outcomes for consumers and carers between 2019 and 2020. However, any improvements in consumer and carer experiences resulting from the Fifth Plan are likely to be incremental and the known limitations of the Consumer and Carer Survey may be obscuring small changes in the experiences of consumers and carers.

This highlights the importance of including high quality data on the perspectives of consumers and carers in the formal evaluation of the Fifth Plan (occurring under action vi of the Fifth Plan), to ensure that any small improvements are measured and that learnings from the Fifth Plan about what creates improvements for consumers and carers can be applied to future reforms.

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Acknowledgement of Country

The Commission acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands throughout Australia.
We pay our respects to their clans, and to the elders, past present and emerging, and acknowledge their continuing connection to land, sea and community.


The Commission is committed to embracing diversity and eliminating all forms of discrimination in the provision of health services. The Commission welcomes all people irrespective of ethnicity, lifestyle choice, faith, sexual orientation and gender identity.

Lived Experience

We acknowledge the individual and collective contributions of those with a lived and living experience of mental ill-health and suicide, and those who love, have loved and care for them. Each person’s journey is unique and a valued contribution to Australia’s commitment to mental health suicide prevention systems reform.