National Mental Health Research Strategy

Under the Fifth National Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan, the National Mental Health Commission has developed a National Mental Health Research Strategy to enhance Australia’s mental health research system.

It is intended that the Strategy be used by academics and practitioners to stimulate partnerships and collaboration in mental health research; to guide research funders in funding decisions; to enhance research collaborations with people with lived experience of mental ill health and caring; and to guide future policy from Australian governments.

four people in front of computerThe National Mental Health Research Strategy (the Strategy) is driven by the vision of a mentally healthy Australia with an innovative and responsive evidence-based mental health system that is continually improving outcomes that matter to people experiencing mental illness, their families and carers.

It outlines 5 guiding principles for driving reform in the mental health research system:

  • Strengthen mental health research
  • Strive for research with impact
  • Support lived experience, collaboration and leadership
  • Embrace a whole-of-life and whole-of-community approach
  • Grow a strong mental health research workforce

The Strategy will achieve its vision through supporting actions that address each of the guiding principles. The actions represent initial steps in bringing the Principles of the Strategy to life. Actions will be built upon over time to ensure alignment with emerging priorities for mental health.

three adult and one kid waling in the woodsThe Commission worked in partnership with representatives of a wide range of stakeholders involved in mental health research including academics, researchers, funders, policy and decision makers, and people with lived experience and carers to develop this Strategy. The range of perspectives informing the Strategy include:

  • national and international evidence on mental health research priorities for over 20 areas of research.
  • input and guidance received through a Steering Committee and Expert Advisory Group.
  • targeted consultations through a stakeholder workshop exploring the current gaps, challenges and opportunities in Australian mental health research.
  • analyses of over 119,000 Australian mental health research publications and citations and international benchmarking.
  • analysis of funding of Australian mental health research in the context of burden of disease.
  • previous national and international reviews including findings from the Productivity Commission review into mental health.

The Commission gratefully acknowledges the time, effort and insight provided by individuals and organisations who have been involved in sharing their experience and expertise to inform the development of this strategy.

National Mental Health Research Strategy

Background Papers

Last updated:
  • Lived experience
  • Suicide prevention

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.