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August Message from the CEO

August Message from the CEO

As many of us are faced with changing restrictions and potential isolation, it is more important than ever to prioritise our mental health and wellbeing. I encourage each of you to not only reach out for support when you need it but to check in with your family, friends, colleagues and communities. Especially those who may live alone, without close friends and family nearby. Our friends in Victora need our support more than ever and many outside those areas may be indirectly impacted also. The Coronavirus Mental Wellbeing Support Service is available 24/7 for everyone.

We have made great progress on the Commission’s projects this month with the National Workplace Initiative now seeking feedback on a discussion paper to help shape the core framework. The Commission continues to work to improve Australia’s mental health and suicide prevention system, and act as a catalyst for change to achieve those improvements. 

We continue to see the Australian Government’s commitment to mental health with several announcements this month including the landmark new national Closing the Gap agreement that features the goal to significantly reduce suicide of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and the recent news that 10 additional Medicare subsidised psychological therapy sessions will be available for those impacted by further restrictions during the second wave of the pandemic and the launch of a new headspace satellite service in Northam. The Western Australia Government has also announced their first Chief Medical Officer for Mental Health and we have seen some new funding announcements including $56m funding to provide mental health, alcohol and other drug support, and the Victorian government providing $8.75m in funding for bushfire mental health.

While we may be working from home or restricting our physical contact, I am encouraged by the dedication of the mental health sector as it continues to seek and make change to support the strong mental health and wellbeing of all Australians. 

Stay safe and well.

Christine Morgan

Historic new Closing the Gap agreement

The Commission welcomes the new national Closing the Gap agreement that was announced last week. The involvement of Indigenous communities and peak organisations in the development of the four priority reforms and the 16 new targets, including the goal to significantly reduce suicide of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, is an important step towards improving the lives of all First Nations Peoples.

Read our media release

We want your feedback on the National Workplace Initiative Core Framework

We want your feedback on the National Workplace Initiative Core Framework

Help us shape the core framework that will act as the centerpiece of the NWI, informing the scope, resources, tools and supports provided within the NWI.

Tell us your thoughts on our discussion paper via our online feedback survey. You can submit ideas anonymously, on behalf of a group or just as an interested individual. The survey closes on 16 Aug 2020.

Give your feedback

Further mental health support for COVID-19 second wave

This weekend the Australian Government announced it will provide 10 additional Medicare subsidised psychological therapy sessions for people subjected to further restrictions in areas impacted by the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Read the news

White paper on reducing COVID-19 stress in communities

Suicide Prevention Australia and Wesley Mission released a white paper on reducing the stress from COVID-19 in communities at the start of the month. The report found Australian’s suicide risk was increased by three factors; economic downturn and social isolation increasing the risk of family violence and substance abuse, both of which are correlated with a higher suicide risk.

Read the report

First WA Chief Medical Officer for Mental Health

Earlier this month, Westen Australia appointed Dr Sophie Davison as its first Chief Medical Officer, Mental Health. She will report directly to the WA Mental Health Commissioner and contribute clinical expertise to policy development and consumer and community-focused clinical care.

Read the media statement

Aboriginal flag Torres Strait Islander flag

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.