Foundations

See our history page for more information about the establishment of the Commission.

2011

July

  • Taskforce to Establish a Mental Health Commission in NSW begins community consultations

November 

  • The Hon. Kevin Humphries MP, Minister for Mental Health and Healthy Lifestyles, introduces the Mental Health Commission Bill in NSW Parliament on 24 November 2011

2012

March

July 

  • The Mental Health Commission of NSW is established 
  • The Commission begins a five year lease from the NSW Ministry of Health for Building 11, 
  • Shea Close on the former Gladesville Hospital site
  • A temporary Executive Director, NSW Mental Health Commission, is appointed to assist with 
  • the finalisation of the organisational structure and implementation of the structure

August 

  • John Feneley is appointed as the inaugural NSW Mental Health Commissioner for a five-year term
  • The Commissioner begins his community engagement work with visits throughout NSW.

September 

  • An interim staff team is appointed to assist the Commission through its early months of operation. The NSW Community Advisory Group Mental Health (NSW CAG) and the NSW Mental Health Association (MHA) both contribute team members during this phase
  • The interim organisation structure is approved by the Director General of NSW Health

October 

  • Official launch of the NSW Mental Health Commission at Government House

December 

  • Commission’s interim website is launched

2013

January 

  • Team managers appointed

March 

  • Four Deputy Commissioners appointed
  • Refurbishment of the Commission’s offices in Gladesville including improved disability access 

April 

  • Community Advisory Council members appointed 

May 

  • First Community Advisory Council meeting held at the Commission office
  • Executive Director appointed

August

  • Workshop consultation for the draft Strategic Plan, University of Technology, Sydney

September

  • Community visits and forums held across NSW, including consultations for the draft Strategic Plan.

December

  • The Commission facilitated meetings with mental health consumers as part of a community mobilisation campaign which fed into the development of the draft Strategic Plan.

2014

May

  • The draft Strategic Plan for Mental Health in NSW was delivered to the Hon. Jillian Skinner MP, Minister for Health, and the Hon. Jai Rowell MP, Minister for Mental Health.

October

November

  • The Commission released an issues paper, Medication and Mental Illness, to allow the community to contribute
    to the discussions that shape decisions about medication and mental health.

December

  • Living Well: A Strategic Plan for Mental Health in NSW 2014-2024, was accepted by the NSW Government and officially launched by the NSW Premier, Mike Baird. The Government made a $115 million commitment to accelerate the reorienting of the mental health system towards community support and recovery, and away from crisis-driven care.

2015

February

March

  • The Commission hosted a forum on the peer workforce to explore the benefits of peer workers and opportunities to strengthen the peer workforce in NSW.

May

  • The first of a series of community visits across NSW kicked off in Broken Hill. These visits were part of the Commission’s ongoing program of engagement with consumers and carers and organisations that provide services for them, following the release of the Strategic Plan.

June

  • The Commission hosted the No Offence community event - a night of comedy and conversation about stigma, language and mental health. Comedians, media professionals and performers shared inspiring and often hilarious insights into their experiences with mental illness and the role that language and stigma has played in their lives.

September

  • The Commission ran a community survey to test how government and community-managed organisations are responding to and implementing the actions from Living Well (Strategic Plan).

December

  • Launch of Medication and Mental Illness: Perspectives paper - the result of the Commission's consultations with over 200 consumers, carers, families and people working in mental health care, with the assistance of the Commission's Pharmacotherapy Advisory Group.

2016

January

January Submission to Arts and Health Taskforce - showcasing how the Commission promotes and fosters the integration of art and mental health.

February

One year on: Progress Report on the implementation of Living Well: A Strategic Plan for Mental Health in NSW 2014-2024 tabled in Parliament and published on Commission website - under Publications/Reports and resources.

March

Dr Sandra Steingard presented at a free public lecture on the features and benefits of ‘slow psychiatry’.

April

Launch of Physical Health and Mental Wellbeing: an Evidence Guide, which guides policy and program leaders in improving the physical health of people who experience severe and persistent mental illness.

May

South Western Sydney Wellbeing Collaboration, and the Five Ways to Wellbeing strategy that underpins it, were launched at Liverpool Hospital.

Full-time Deputy Commissioner appointed - Catherine Lourey.

Living well at work community event held in Parramatta

June

Emerging mental health leaders learned techniques to translate evidence-informed research and knowledge into effective programs at SPARK training workshops.

July

Consumer-led service review report launched

August

Suicide prevention trial with regional focus launched

September

Port Stephens community visit

Public lecture by Dr Arthur Evans on whole-of-community mental health

October

'Wellbeing for everyone' promoted in Mental Health Month activities at Parliament House and Martin Place, Sydney.

November

Bradley Foxlewin farewelled as Deputy Commissioner.

December

Three new Deputy Commissioners announced - Allan Sparkes CV VA, Dr Martin Cohen, Karen Burns.

2017

J.anuary

Videos featuring emergency service workers talking about mental health on the job released.

February

Leadership Exchange match events showcasing innovative mental health services and solutions to world mental health leaders.

March

International Initiative for Mental Health Leadership conference held in Sydney for world mental health leaders.

Last updated: 5 April 2017

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