The MHSC is a decision making committee to progress national policy and reform and as such, State and Territory members are directors or equivalent of mental health services, Australian Government representatives are Branch Heads, and private sector member organisations are CEO or equivalent within their organisations.

The membership of the MHSC is currently Chaired by the Queensland Director of Mental Health and also consists of Directors of Mental Health or equivalent in each State and Territory and representatives from the Australian Government Departments of Health and Ageing (DoHA), Veterans' Affairs (DVA) and Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (FaHCSIA), the private sector (currently the Private Mental Health Alliance), Mental Health Council of Australia (MHCA) and consumer and carer representatives drawn from the National Mental Health Consumer and Carer Forum (NMHCCF). Official observers include representatives from the Ministry of Health in New Zealand, the Private Mental Health Alliance, and the Mental Health Council of Australia.

Fourth national mental health plan implementation activity

Since endorsement of the Fourth Plan in 2009, the MHSC has focused on the development of an Implementation Strategy to guide the implementation of actions in the Fourth Plan. The Implementation Strategy articulates the way in which a detailed approach to implementation of each action will be developed and can be found at Appendix 1. The Implementation Strategy was endorsed by AHMC and publicly released in December 2010 on the MHSC website. The MHSC then established small working groups to develop detailed year-by-year implementation approaches for each action in the Fourth Plan to coordinate national activities relevant to each action. Top of page

The detailed implementation approaches were considered by the MHSC and CSWG over October and November 2010 and were endorsed with the exception of Actions 7 and 24, which require additional development. This work is continuing.

A summary of other Fourth Plan Implementation progress to the end of 2010 includes:

  • Currently in draft form, the logistical aspects of implementation are being considered by MHSC, including an estimate of costs associated with implementation and models to govern the implementation process.

  • MHSC members have supported the development of a Service Planning Framework (Action 16) using Commonwealth funding in 2010/2011. Discussions between the Commonwealth, Queensland and New South Wales have resulted in the drafting of an implementation proposal involving all jurisdictions for progressing the development of the Service Planning Framework. A 2.5 year implementation process is anticipated to complete this work and will be considered by MHSC in early 2011.
Subcommittee activity, to be discussed in more detail later in the following sections, has seen the progression of the following Fourth Plan actions:
  • SQPS – Actions 4, 23 and 27
  • MHISS – Actions 28, 31, 32, 33 and 34
  • National Suicide Prevention Working Group – Actions 12 and 13
  • National Comorbidity Collaboration – Action 20.
The MHSC has oversight of these processes and reviews implementation progress regularly.