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The consumer and carer perspective

Priority Area 8: Ensuring that the enablers of effective system performance and system improvement are in place

The Fifth Plan states the following will be different for consumers and carers:

  • • Services will continue to improve over time.
  • • There will be improved opportunities to translate consumers’ and carers’ experiences into helping others to work through their own experience of recovery.

Most consumers and carers have not observed improvements in mental health services and have not been invited to contribute to service improvement.

In 2020, the majority of respondents (66% in 2020 and 69% in 2019; Figure PA8) indicated that they had not observed any improvement in mental health services in the past 12 months, while almost one in five respondents had observed improvements (19% in 2020 and 17% in 2019).

In both 2019 and 2020, the majority (69% in 2020 and 65% in 2019) of respondents reported that they, or the person they care for, had not been asked or encouraged by their care providers to share their experience to help improve the service. This represents a significant missed opportunity for service improvement.

Figure PA8: Observed improvement in mental health services in the last 12 months, 2019 and 2020

Sideways bar chart showing 2019 and 2020 data for the proportion of consumers and carers who did and did not observe improvement in mental health services in the last 12 months. In 2019 69% of consumers and carers did not observe improvement and 17% did observe improvement. In 2020, 66% of consumers and carers did not observe improvement, and 19% did observe improvement

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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.