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New Chair of National Mental Health Commission

Distinguished businesswomen and psychologist Lucy Brogden will be the next Chair of the Australian Government’s National Mental Health Commission.

Mrs Brogden has been a highly-skilled Commissioner for the Government’s peak mental health body for three years and her energy, passion and contribution to the mental health sector has been immense.

We look forward to Mrs Brogden continuing this leadership in her new role and advising the Government on tangible ways to improve the lives of people living with mental health issues.

To ensure strengthened accountability the Commission will now report directly to the Health Minister and will provide six-monthly updates to the Prime Minister on the Government’s mental health reform agenda. The Commission will also include additional members on the new board to provide broad expertise and experience from across our health system.

The commissioners will oversee the Government’s mental health reforms and the implementation of the Fifth National Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan following final agreement by the Council of Australian Governments Health Council on Friday.

We look forward to working with the new Commissioners to deliver better support and care to those facing the challenge of a mental health disorder.

Dr Peggy Brown, the Commission’s CEO, has been appointed a Commissioner, along with the following new appointees:

  • Professor Harvey Whiteford
  • Professor Ngiare Brown
  • Professor Wendy Cross
  • Professor Helen Milroy
  • Mr Samuel Hockey.

Current members Professor Allan Fels AO, Professor Ian Hickie AM and Ms Jackie Crowe have been reappointed.

Mrs Brogden will work as Co-Chair of the advisory board alongside current Chair, Professor Allan Fels AO, for six months until he steps down from the role. Mrs Brodgen will then continue as sole Chair.

These new and returning members bring their diverse expertise and stakeholder perspectives that will help the Commission further advance mental health policy and practice.

An additional $2 million in funding has been allocated to the Commission for this financial year to ensure it has the staffing and skills needed to support a stronger mental health sector. The first task of the new Commission will be to develop a revised work plan that encapsulates the strengthened and clarified role of the agency.

We extend our thanks to the outgoing board members – the Hon Rob Knowles AO, Professor Pat Dudgeon and Ms Nicole Gibson – for their insights, passion and hard work. Their work advising Government has helped to elevate the importance of mental health and suicide prevention.

We want to especially thank Professor Allan Fels for his unwavering commitment to this vitally important issue.

The Turnbull Government is committed to delivering important mental health reforms that provide better support to those living with a mental illness, and has backed this commitment by investing an additional $365 million for mental health support, treatment and research in the past 12 months.

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