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Pandemic Response Plan

In May 2020, the Government made a commitment to support the National Mental Health and Wellbeing Pandemic Response Plan with $48.1 million in funding.

The COVID-19 pandemic is posing significant health, lifestyle and economic challenges for Australians and evidence shows there is likely to be a significant negative mental health impact as a result. Australia’s mental health sector has been agile in responding to the increasing support needs of Australians with new opportunities including the expansion of digital services and telehealth as well as innovative community-based models of careHowever, there remains areas that need to be addressed in the immediate and long-term response.  

The mental health and wellbeing response to the pandemic has three core objectives 

  • meet the mental health and wellbeing needs of all Australians to reduce negative impacts of the pandemic in the short and long-term;  
  • outline core principles and priority areas to inform jurisdictions as they respond to the challenges of COVID-19, including as restrictions ease, to balance national consistency with flexibility for locally-appropriate community-based responses and solutions and ensuring that any risks posed by relaxation of restrictions are assessed and responded to; and 
  • define governance, coordination and implementation requirements including data collection and sharing across jurisdictions to facilitate informed planning and decision making.  

This plan prioritises the mental health of Australians in line with physical health and sets out a direction to help navigate through thpandemic. 

All jurisdictions are called on to continue their current commitments and accelerate change to include the Plan actions, tailored to meet the needs of their specific communities. The total response called for is a whole of government approach that is nationally consistent, builds on current momentum and innovation, and responds quickly to address critical gaps. This will enable mental health services to meet the growing and changing needs of Australians as a result of the pandemic.  


National Mental Health and Wellbeing Pandemic Response Plan Infographic

PDF, 195.4 KB

National Mental Health and Wellbeing Pandemic Response Plan

PDF, 1.21 MB
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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.