Established in 2017, our research and advocacy function has become well-known and sought after across the sector, consistently being called upon by State and Federal government and inquiry bodies to inform local and national policy.

Mind promotes social inclusion and support for recovery as a fundamental human right. Our advocacy agenda is based on understanding people’s experiences and using this to develop suggestions for policy and system reform at a local, state and national level.

The advocacy function sits within the integrated Research, Advocacy and Policy Development division and works to fulfil Mind's strategic goal of contributing to a better, stronger Australian mental health system.

We work closely with the Mind community to understand their experiences, and strive for social change on issues that matter to them. In practice, this means our work involves:

  • policy analysis and evidence-based policy development
  • applied research, and initiatives to test new policy solutions
  • public awareness raising, campaign development and execution
  • coalition and network building.

System reform and inquiries

System reform and inquiries

Mind is a key stakeholder in the mental health and wellbeing and psychosocial disability sector. We are recognised as an important and respected contributor to debates on system reform in Australia.

We contribute to public inquiries and seek to ensure that our voice, and that of the community we serve, is heard by Governments and decision-makers across Australia.

Our recent contributions to system reform include submissions and reports to the following bodies and inquiries:

The Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System 

Submission to the Victorian Royal Commission into Mental Health Services, July 2019 (PDF 1.5 MB)

Productivity Commission Inquiry into Mental Health 2018 – 2020

The Productivity Commission inquiry into mental health was a major opportunity to re-evaluate Australia’s mental health system.

In 2019, we provided a submission responding to the issues paper. This focused on the reforms needed to enhance productivity and participation for people with mental health needs. We also gave evidence at a public hearing in November 2019.

In 2020, we provided a follow-up submission to the draft report. We combined our experience, practice wisdom and research with Neami National, SANE Australia and Wellways to present a joint submission. The submission focused on areas we felt could be strengthened in the final report so that it best addressed the needs of all Australians.

Mental Health Select Committee (QLD) – Inquiry into the Opportunities to Improve Mental Health Outcomes for Queenslanders

Mind’s response to the Queensland Parliament’s Mental Health Select Committee inquiry on opportunities to improve Queenslander’s mental health outcomes, focused on the need for whole of system reform, increased psychosocial supports in the community, housing and homelessness support, and greater provision of service for young people. 

National Disability Insurance Scheme – Psychosocial disability

National Disability Insurance Scheme – Psychosocial disability

Mind is a strong supporter of the NDIS and the inclusion of people with psychosocial disability in the Scheme. In addition to our service delivery, we also work to improve policy settings to ensure NDIS participants with a psychosocial disability are able to have their support needs met based on their individual needs and goals. We regularly contribute to NDIS inquiries and submission processes based on consultations with people with lived experience.

Our recent contributions include submissions and reports to the following bodies and inquiries:

Submissions to the National Disability Insurance Agency

Review of the NDIS Act and the New NDIS Participant Service Guarantee

During the 2019 Federal Election the Australian Government promised to develop and legislate a NDIS Participant Service Guarantee to improve participant experiences with the NDIS. Mind’s submission calls for the Department of Social Services and the NDIS to take into account the unique needs of people with a psychosocial disability when implementing a Participant Service Guarantee and making amendments to the Act.

Joint Standing Committee into the NDIS – The provision of services under the NDIS for people with psychosocial disabilities related to a mental health condition

Our submission outlined the strengths and weaknesses of the NDIS for people with a psychosocial disability, and highlighted that implementation of the Scheme poses a significant challenge for the mental health system broadly, as It comes to terms with a newly constituted boundary between what is mental health and disability.

Joint Standing Committee into the NDIS submission #118 (March 2017)

Productivity Commission Inquiry into NDIS costs

Mind’s submission to the Productivity Commission Inquiry into NDIS costs highlighted the need for the scheme to work as well as possible for all participants, and commented measures to improve the inclusion of people with psychosocial disability in the scheme.

Housing and homelessness

Housing and homelessness

Since 1977, the provision of housing and residential services has been at the core of Mind’s approach to community based mental health care. Mind and the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute (AHURI) recently published Trajectories, one of the first national studies to examine the relationship between the housing and mental health pathways of people with lived experience of mental ill-health. We know housing is critical for mental health recovery, with the findings of Trajectories informing our submissions to recent inquiries. Find out more about Trajectories.

Our recent contributions include submissions and reports to the following bodies and inquiries:

Productivity Commission Housing and Homelessness Agreement Review

Mind’s evidence to the Productivity Commission’s review of the National Housing and Homelessness Agreement focused on the barriers to accessing safe and affordable housing for people experiencing mental ill-health and psychosocial disability, and potential changes to the Agreement which may address these barriers.  

Victorian 10-Year Strategy for Social and Affordable Housing

Mind made a submission to the Victorian Government’s 10-year strategy for social and affordable housing in Victoria which specifically addressed the needs of people experiencing mental ill health.

Parliamentary Inquiry into Homelessness in Victoria

Mind’s submission to the Legal and Social Issues Committee’s Inquiry into Homelessness urged consideration of the interrelationship between homelessness and mental health, and provided advice on supported living. We were also invited to appear as a witness at a public hearing of the Committee.

Social and community inclusion

Social and community inclusion

Our recent contributions include submissions and reports to the following bodies and inquiries:

Victorian LGBTIQ+ Strategy

Mind contributed to the Victorian Government’s consultation on the Victorian LGBTIQ+ Strategy, with our submission contributing our experience and expertise in delivering LGBTIQ+ specific services.

Suicide Prevention and Response

Suicide Prevention and Response

Our recent contributions include submissions and reports to the following bodies and inquiries:

Victorian Suicide Prevention and Response Strategy

Mind contributed to the Victorian Government’s consultation on development of the new Victorian suicide prevention and response strategy. 

  • Submission (August 2022)

Tasmanian Suicide Prevention Strategy

Mind contributed to the Tasmanian Government’s consultation on the draft Tasmanian Suicide Prevention Strategy 2023-2027.

  • Submission (September 2022)

Families and carers

Families and carers

Between 2017 and 2021, Mind led the Caring Fairly campaign – a national campaigning coalition directed by unpaid carers, along with specialist organisations and peak bodies that support and advocate for their rights. Caring Fairly was launched in August 2018 at Parliament House, Canberra, by a founding coalition of over twenty organisations. 

The campaign had some great achievements, including significant media attention, references in Parliament and the release of videos  asking government to make care fair. With the campaign now ended, Mind will continue to use our unique expertise in mental health to advocate for mental health carers. 

Between April – May 2020 the Caring Fairly Coalition conducted a survey to capture unpaid carers’ experiences of the COVID-19 pandemic. Overall, the results demonstrate the considerable impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on unpaid carers. 

Caring Fairly made submissions to the following inquiries:

Productivity Commission into Mental Health

Caring Fairly made a submission to the Productivity Commission Inquiry into Mental Health, authored by Mind with input from Carers Australia, which focused on mental health carers. This was followed by a further response to the Draft Report.

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Policy and advocacy

Enhancing inclusion for people seriously impacted by mental ill-health and psychosocial disability.