The Commission’s purpose, vision, values and principles are at the heart of all its work.

The Commission’s staff articulated these foundations as part of a business planning process in 2013 and 2014. To find out more, please read our 2013-14 Annual Report.


To drive reform that improves the mental health and wellbeing of the people of New South Wales.


The people of New South Wales have the best opportunity for good mental health and wellbeing and live well in their own community and on their own terms.

Guiding principle

We will be guided by the lived experience of people with a mental illness and their families and carers in all that we do.


These qualities are what the Commission works towards and endeavours to embody in all its work and in its interactions with the community:


  • We communicate a vision for the improvement of mental health and wellbeing.
  • We drive actions and advocate positively for change.
  • We work collaboratively and embed in others the capacity to achieve change.


  • We are guided by the objectives set in our Act.
  • We stand up for what is right.
  • We operate in a fair and impartial way.


  • We encourage and help generate new ideas and approaches to improve mental health and wellbeing.
  • We think differently and refuse to be constrained.
  • We constantly reflect on and adjust the way we work to respond to changing or new circumstances.


  • We are open and honest in our interactions.
  • We work professionally and ethically.
  • We are accountable for our actions.


  • We candidly and confidently express our views.
  • We respectfully challenge and disagree with the views of others.
  • We are flexible and adaptable in our views based on changing or emerging evidence.


  • We express and pursue bold aspirations for our community.
  • We use positive language in all our communication.
  • We persevere with our aims through periods of challenge.

The Commission has also articulated key values and principles for the provision of support for people who experience mental illness:


The right of people to choose support according to their own wishes and preferences.


The notion that the goal of mental health support should be to make things better, not just to control symptoms.


The critical importance of social structures in mental health and the need to maintain social connection during periods of ill health.


The Commission acknowledges the lived experience of people recovering from mental distress, and of those who offer them support and hope. We are committed to guiding NSW towards full recognition of the rights of people whose lives are affected by mental illness and away from stigma and discrimination.

We wish to pay respect to Aboriginal elders - past, present and emerging - and acknowledge the important role of Aboriginal people and culture within the NSW community.

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Last updated: 14 July 2017