Victorian Mental Health Policy Network

The Victorian Mental Health Policy Network (VMHPN) was established to analyse and develop strategies to improve Victoria’s mental health system.

Role, Purpose, and Responsibilities

The role of Victorian Mental Health Policy Network (VMHPN) will be to provide strategic direction and leadership to:

  • Focus on strategies to increase investment in mental health;
  • Identify service gaps;
  • Promote solutions, outcomes, and measures that reduce hospital admissions and relieve pressure on ambulance, police and crisis services;
  • Place mental health as an election priority, at the State and Federal level;
  • Ensure mental health is treated as a Whole-of-Government issue
  • Have an ongoing role in influencing mental health system improvements;
  • Create messaging and communications strategies that raise the understanding of mental health services and supports in Victoria; and
  • Identify Mental Health Victoria priorities for research and policy.

The complete Terms of Reference for the Network can be read here.

Membership of VMHPN

The following organisations are part of the Network:

  • Ambulance Employees Australia
  • Australian College of Emergency Medicine (ACEM)
  • Australian College of Mental Health Nurses (ACMHN)
  • Australians for Mental Health
  • Australian Medical Association (AMA)  Victorian Branch
  • Australian Nursing & Midwifery Federation (ANMF)
  • Australian Psychological Society (APS)
  • Australian Services Union (ASU)
  • Carers Victoria
  • Clarity Health
  • Community Housing Industry Association Victoria (CHIA Vic)
  • Council to Homeless Persons (CHP)
  • Health and Community Services Union (HACSU)
  • Mental Health Foundation of Australia (MHFA)
  • Mental Health Victoria (MHV)
  • National Disability Services (NDS)
  • Neighbourhood Houses Victoria
  • Orygen
  • Rainbow Health Victoria
  • Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists (RANZCP) Victorian Branch
  • Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP)
  • Tandem
  • The Police Association of Victoria (TPAV)
  • Thorne Harbour Health
  • VicHealth
  • Victorian Aboriginal Commmunity-Controlled Health Organisation (VACCHO)
  • Victorian Alcohol And Drug Association (VAADA)
  • Victorian Council of Social Service (VCOSS)
  • Victorian Healthcare Association (VHA)
  • Victorian Mental Illness Awareness Council (VMIAC)
  • Victorian PHN Alliance
  • Victorian Refugee Health Network (VRHN)
  • Women's Mental Health Network Victoria (WMHNV)
  • Youth Affairs Council Victoria (YACVIC)

2017-18 Federal Budget


  • Mental Health Victoria welcomes this year's Federal Budget which seeks to address a key issue for community mental health services - the gap in psychosocial support services for those not eligible for the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).
  • We call on the Victorian Government to step up and match the Federal Government's commitment to ensure mental health support is provided to people who need it now, in Barwon, and in the recent NDIS roll out areas.
  • Mental Health Victoria and its members stand ready to work with the Victorian Government to meets its responsibilities to support those affected by mental illness, their carers and families.


Mental Health Victoria, the peak body for community managed mental health services, welcomes the funding announced for mental health in the 2017 budget last night.

Acknowledging the critical concerns expressed by the community mental health sector about the gap in psychosocial support services for those not eligible for the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), the budget includes a total of $80 million additional funding for the States and Territories over four years to maintain community psychosocial services for people with mental illness who do not qualify for assistance through the Scheme.

"Mental Health Victoria welcomes the leadership shown by the Federal Minister for Health Greg Hunt, who continues to put a strong focus on mental health and stands firm behind his commitment to improve mental health services for Australians living with mental illness", said Mental Health Victoria CEO, Angus Clelland.

"The funding will result in $7.8m in 2017-18, and approximately $24.0m each year until 2020-21. The Minister has stressed however that the funding is contingent on a matching commitment from the States and Territories.

"For some time, Mental Health Victoria has called on the Victorian Government to address the looming gap in Victoria’s mental health service system, as a significant proportion of the Mental Health Community Support Services (MHCSS) funding is transferred to the NDIS over the next two years.

"However, given that the funding is contingent on the collaboration of all governments, we implore Victorian State Government decision makers to come to the table, match the funding and ensure support is provided to people who need it now, in Barwon, and in the recent NDIS roll out areas", Mr Clelland said. 

"Despite the encouraging actions of the Federal Government surrounding mental health, we are concerned by the punitive welfare measures that are proposed around increased activity requirements and a proposed trial to drug test welfare recipients’ Mr Clelland said.

‘We know people with mental illness are likely to be impacted by these proposals and are over represented in these groups and the Government should be supporting them to recover and be a part of their community".

Mental Health Victoria also welcomes these other measures in the budget:

  • $9.1 million telehealth initiative set to roll-out in 2017 so that people living in rural and remote regions of Australia receive improved access to psychologists.
  • $11.1 million to prevent suicide in locations where suicide incidents repeatedly occur.  
  • $15.0 million towards research in mental health, including $5.0 million to complete work on Orygen’s National Centre for Excellence in Youth Mental Health in Melbourne.
  • $33.5 million for expanded access to mental health treatment for current and former members of the Australian Defence Force.

Mental Health Victoria and its members stand ready to work with the Victorian Government to support those affected by mental illness, their carers and families.

10 May 2017
Media contact – Debra Parnell, Policy & Communications Manager – (03) 9519 7000
Twitter @Mental Health Victoria

Read the CMHA media release from Community Mental Health Victoria

Budget Papers

Federal Budget 2017-18

Health Portfolio Budget Statements 

Mental Health Budget Breifing - Minister Greg Hunt

Media Releases and Budget Analyses

Minister Hunt

Mental Health Victoria


Sane Australia

ProBono Not-for-Profit Winners & Losers

News outlets

Croakey - collation of media

ABC Life Matters Radio Program - Budget 2017: Moderate steps on housing affordability and funding for the NDIS 

ABC AM with Sabra Lane - NDIS welcomed but harsher welfare conditions an un-Australian break from universal service

Health sector backs lifting of Medicare rebate, mental health spending

newparadigm Past Editions


2018newparadigmcoverimageWinter   2018NewParadigmCoverImageSummer   


   coverWinter2017    2017newparadigm summer


13633 VICSERV NewParadigm Winter 2016 FA interactive Page 012016NewparadigmAutumn


2015newparadigmspring 2015newparadigmsummer

 If you require an edition/s prior to 2015, please contact the MHV policy team on 03 9519 7000.

newparadigm Summer 2018-19

Integration and Collaboration: Best practice and lessons learned   2018 19newparadigm Summer cover image

The need for intersectoral, collaborative approaches to both governance and service delivery have been on the social policy agenda for decades. However, as practitioners are well aware, cutting across knowledge areas and social networks is an incredibly challenging task.

This edition of newparadigm gathers together the lessons learned from practitioners and organisations who have attempted to reorganise policy and practice in this way to better address the needs of mental health service users.

newparadigm Summer 2018-19 showcases various examples of mental health policy and practice from along the collaboration continuum: from individual care coordination to the co-location services to integrated governance and policy initiatives.

The government and non-government organisations from across Australia who have contributed to this addition offer invaluable insights that will improve the prospects of future attempts at collaboration and integration.

Download newparadigm Summer 2018-19 (FULL VERSION)

Download individual chapters below: 

01. Cover and contents

02. Editorial - Angus Clelland

03. Cracking the collaboration code - John Butcher

04. Supporting recovery through integration at every level - Lyndal Sherwin

05. Inclusive and collaborative practice: the key to accessible mental health services for people with an intellectual disability and co-occurring mental ill health - Professor Julian N Troller, Janelle Weise

06. Client Services Team approach to case management: integrated service delivery at the Neighborhood Justice Centre - Scott Nelson, Matthew Cocomazzo

07. Victoria's strategies toward integrated service delivery for people with mental health-substance use concerns - Gary Croton, Gavin Foster

08. Curing hepatitis C has an important role in improving mental illness - Dr Jacqueline Richmond, Jodie Waltson, Wendy Anderson, Kevin Marriott

09. Lived experiences of Australian with mental health and AOD comorbidity and their perspectives on integrated treatement - Emma Barrett, Lauchland Dudley, Chloe Conroy, Frances Kay-Lambkin, Pete Kelly, Katherine Mills, Maree Teesson. 

10. Outcomes measurement of community and mental health services: best practice and lessons learned - Dr Jasmine MY Loo, Dr Johana Susanto

NDIS Bulletin

Mental Health Victoria's fortnightly NDIS bulletin is aimed at ensuring Mental Health Victoria members, and other community mental health stakeholders, are informed about, and connected to, developments in the implementation period of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

SUBSCRIBE to our NDIS Bulletin


Our latest edition of the NDIS bulletin:NDIS Bulletin Friday 16 February 2018

 Past editions:

NDIS Bulletin Thursday 1 February 2018

NDIS Bulletin Friday 19 January 2018

NDIS Bulletin Thursday 21 December 2017

NDIS Bulletin Friday 08 December 2017

NDIS Bulletin Friday 24 November 2017

NDIS Bulletin Friday 10 November 2017

NDIS Bulletin Friday 27 October 2017

NDIS Bulletin Friday 13 October 2017

NDIS Bulletin Thursday 28 September 2017

NDIS Bulletin Friday 15 September 2017

NDIS Bulletin Thursday 31 August 2017

NDIS Bulletin Friday 18 August 2017

NDIS Bulletin Thursday 3 August 2017

NDIS Bulletin Thursday 20 July 2017

NDIS Bulletin Thursday 6 July 2017

NDIS Bulletin Friday 23 June 2017

NDIS Bulletin Thursday 8 June 2017

NDIS Bulletin Thursday 25 May 2017

NDIS Bulletin Thursday 11 May 2017

NDIS Bulletin Friday 28 April 2017

NDIS Bulletin Thursday 13 April 2017

NDIS Bulletin Thursday 30 March 2017

NDIS Bulletin Friday 17 March 2017

NDIS Bulletin Thursday 2 March 2017

NDIS Bulletin Friday 17 February 2017

NDIS Bulletin Thursday 2 February 2017 

NDIS Bulletin Thursday 19 January 2017

NDIS Bulletin Thursday 15 December 2016       

NDIS Bulletin Friday 2 December 2016

NDIS Bulletin Thursday 17 November 2016

NDIS Bulletin Friday 4 November 2016

NDIS Bulletin Thursday 20 October 2016

NDIS Bulletin Thursday 6 October 2016

NDIS Bulletin Friday 23 September 2016

NDIS Bulletin Friday 9 September 2016

NDIS Bulletin Friday 26 August 2016

NDIS Bulletin Friday 12 August 2016

NDIS Bulletin Thursday 28 July 2016

NDIS Bulletin Thursday 14 July 2016

Submissions and Publications


Submission for Victoria's State Disability Plan 2021–2024

Summary of Productivity Commission's final report for the Inquiry into Mental Health

Summary of National Suicide Prevention Adviser's Interim Advice

Response to the final submission of the Counsel Assisting the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety

Submission to the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability issues paper on the experience of First Nations people with disability

Submission to the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability issues paper on employment

Submission to the National Disability Insurance Scheme on support coordination

Submission to the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability issues paper on restrictive practices

Submission to the Victorian LGBTIQ Strategy

Submission to the Jobs-Ready Graduates Package exposure draft legislation

Adult Mental Health Centres - Mental Health Victoria’s responses to the Australian Government Department of Health’s online survey questions 

Monitoring the Family Violence Reforms - Mental Health Victoria's submission to the Family Violence Implementation Monitor 

Inquiry into the Victorian Government’s Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic, Witness Statement of Angus Clelland - Mental Health Victoria CEO

Royal Commission into Victoria's Mental Health System Hearing, Witness Statement of Angus Clelland - Mental Health Victoria CEO

Supporting the mental health and wellbeing of older Victorians: A submission to the Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System and the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety

Older people are important, contributing members of the Victorian community who have the same rights and needs for programs and services across the continuum of mental health promotion, illness prevention, treatment, recovery support, and suicide prevention as other age groups. At present, they are missing out in many of these areas. This report outlines five key areas for the reform of mental health care for older people:

  • Increasing focus on mentally healthy ageing and mental ill-health prevention 
  • Increasing the availability and accessibility of services for older Victorians
  • Improving the quality and range of supports and services available
  • Strengthening the older persons mental health workforce and increasing funding
  • Preventing suicide, particularly among older men and women over 80 years.

The full report is available here

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Submission to the Joint Standing Committee on the National Disability Insurance Scheme - NDIS workforce

Mental Health Pandemic Response Plan - Mental Health Victoria’s Key Priority Areas 

Submission on the Victorian Disability Worker Registration Scheme: Proposed registration standards and regulations for Victoria's disability workforce - Mental Health Victoria

Joint Submission to the Productivity Commission Draft Report into Mental Health - Mental Health Victoria & the Victorian Healthcare Association


Submission to the Review of the NDIS Act and the new NDIS Participant Service Guarantee

Submission to the Royal Commission into Aged Care Safety and Quality

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Joint Submission to the Royal Commission into Victoria's Mental Health System - MHV & the Victorian Healthcare Association

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Mental Health and Justice: Submission to the Royal Commission into Victoria's Mental Health System - MHV & Mental Health Legal Centre Inc.

Letter to the Productivity Commission's Inquiry into Mental Health with additional information and submissions

Initial Submission to the Productivity Commission Inquiry into the role of improving mental health to support economic participation and enhancing productivity and economic growth 

Focusing on prevention: A joint submission to the Productivity Commission inqury into mental health - VicHealth, Prevention United & others

Terms of Reference for the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect, and Exploitation of People with a Disability

Joint Standing Committee on the NDIS: Inquiry into General Issues around Implementation

Hansard of Joint Standing Committee NDIS Psychosocial Disability Roundtable

Terms of Reference for the Victorian Royal Commission into Mental Health 


Senate Standing Committee on Community Affairs, Accessibility and Quality of Mental Health Services in Rural and Remote Australia

Saving Lives. Saving Money: The case for better investment in Victorian mental health

The Saving Lives. Saving Money report maps out the economic case for investing in Victoria's mental health, backed by data from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, and independent investment analysis. It brings together not only mental health service providers, but police, unions, and clinicians who all agree that, without proper funding, Victoria will see increased demand and pressure on ambulance call-outs, police and criminal justice, emergency departments and public hospitals, and crisis services. The document is available here

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Final Report into the Project: Recovery-Oriented Practice Resources for Providing NDIS Psychosocial Supports

The report details the results of the 2018 MHV NDIS Engagement Project which explored:

  • How workers can continue to be recovery-oriented when delivering NDIS supports to participants with psychosocial disability
  • Innovative ways to deliver professional development to a time-poor, mobile workforce providing NDIS supports.

In partnership with 10 mental health organisations, peak bodies and other stakeholders, the project worked with managers, support coordinators, support workers, consumers, and carers to determine what recovery-oriented practice looks like in the new context. The project also showcased an exciting new learning model of training delivery, which makes professional development more accessible and engaging for NDIS provider workforces.

The report is available here.  

2018 recovery oriented resources NDIS report

Mind the Gap

Mental Health Victoria and SalvoConnect engaged the University of Sydney to produce a Victorian focussed policy research paper on the mental health landscape post NDIS transition. The report covers the gaps for those both eligible and ineligle for the NDIS, people who are eligible but don't apply and the gaps in the systems interfaces.The document is available here

Mind the Gap image

Joint Standing Committee on the NDIS - market readiness



Strong partnerships are integral to success in the reformed environment.

Client - centered service delivery redefines the relationship between services, consumers and their carers/families.

Client-centred service delivery also requires collaborative partnerships with other organisations. At the core of an area based service system is the expectation that services can work together to deliver a seamless service response to a consumer's need. You will need referral mechanisms that work and knowledge of what other services can provide to be able to assist your clients meet their goals. For people with a mental illness the partnership between the clinical service provider and the disability support provider is fundamental.

Key partnerships outlined in the in the Reform Framework are:

  • catchment based planning - to be developed with key health and community services, with all MCHSS providers in a given catchment required to actively participate.
  • intake and assessment - to be delivered as a core partnership between a MHCSS provider on behalf of other MHCSS providers in the catchment, an area mental health service and a primary health service.
  • responding to client diversity - partnerships with a range of providers and community groups, such as Aboriginal community controlled health organisations, homelessness providers and refugee organisations and communities to ensure people requiring MHCC are identified and supported.

Real collaboration and partnership is hard work which is why there has been lots of resources and effort put into this area over the last ten years.

How strong are my partnerships?

Use these tools to assess the strength of your partnerships and how far along the partnership continuum you really are. They can also help you think through what to do to improve the partnership.

Partnership Evaluation Tools

VicHealth Partnership Analysis Tool

This tool was developed to support organisations strengthen their partnerships in relation to health promotion. However, it is also relevant for analysing and understanding partnerships for the purpose of service delivery and collaboration. It was updated in 2011 and includes information on managing change in organisations

Partnership Self-Assessment Tool

This tool was developed by the Center for the Advancement of Collaborative Strategies in Health in the US. It is provides a questionnaire for the members of the partnership to complete and a system for preparing a report. It is suitable for partnerships which already exist, have started to implement partnered activity and of which there are at least five members.

Assessing Strategic Partnership: The Partnership Assessment Tool

This UK developed tool provides a simple, quick and cost-effective way of assessing the effectiveness of partnership working. It enables a rapid appraisal which graphically identifies problem areas and allows partners to focus remedial action and resources. For those just setting up partnerships the tool provides a checklist of what to ensure and what to avoid.

Resources to help you make the changes
VCOSS Partnership Practice Guides

Developed by VCOSS this series of guides are designed to assist any organisation through the partnership process. Guide 1 covers preparing to partner; Guide 2 commencing the partnership and Guide 3 sustaining the partnership.

The Partnership Toolkit: Tools For Building And Sustaining Partnerships

A very comprehensive kit developed in Vancouver. It starts at the very beginning, asking pertinent questions about motivation and readiness to partner at the individual agency level through to the processes and practices you need in place to make the partnership work.

Other reading

Dixon Partnering Solutions: How To Build Effective Partnerships Between Bsuiness, Government, Community And Education Sectors

Mental Health Victoria is promoting the Dixon Partnering Model to encourage a common language and understanding to assist the PDRSS sector more effectively partner with other services, their clients and the community so as to effectively embrace and move forward with the complex changes that are facing the sector over the next five years.

Also, on the website is an article Ian Dixon wrote for New Paradigm about partnerships in mental health.