Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How are members of the NMHCCF selected?
  2. What is the difference between the Forum and the National Register?
  3. What is the difference between the potential National Mental Health Consumer Organisation (NMHCO) and the NMHCCF?
  4. Who funds the NMHCCF?
  5. What is an Auspice?
  6. How are representatives selected to sit on national committees, working groups or speak at events?
  7. What are Advocacy Briefs?
  8. How can I contact forum members? 
  9. I’m looking for consumer and carer representatives to sit on my committee, what do I need to do?

 

How are members of the NMHCCF selected?

The NMHCCF is made up of mental health consumer and carers representing each state and territory, as well as a number of national mental health consumer and/or carer organisations.  

Consumer and carer representatives from states and territories are selected by the relevant state/territory government department or commission.  The selection of members who represent organisations is the responsibility of the organisation that member is representing

There is no maximum length of tenure for NMHCCF consumer and carer representatives.  NMHCCF members are initially appointed for a four year term and then their appointment is reviewed by their nominating state/territory/organisation.  If reappointed their membership is then reviewed every two years.

 

What is the difference between the Forum and the National Register?

Both the NMHCCF and the National Register of Mental Health Consumer and Carer Representatives (National Register) have experience working as mental health consumer and carer representatives and have undergone training in leadership, advocacy, policy development, communication and a range of other relevant topics.  Members have the skills and expertise to meet the needs of organisations requiring national level representatives.

The NMHCCF is a combined voice for consumers and carers consisting of 27 members.  The National Register is a pool of 60 trained and supported national level mental health consumer and carer representatives. 

The NMHCCF was established in 2002 by the previous Mental Health Standing Committee (MHSC) and receives operational funding (for meetings) from each state and territory government.  Mental Health Australia developed the National Register in 2007 with funding from the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing.

The NMHCCF meet four times per year, either face to face or by teleconference as well as attend the Annual National Register/NMHCCF Annual Issues Forum.  The National Register come together once a year at the joint Annual Issues Forum.

 

What is the difference between the potential National Mental Health Consumer Organisation (NMHCO) and the NMHCCF?

The National Mental Health Consumer Organisation is not yet established, but if and when a new NMHCO is established the key differences between the two are their membership, structure and purpose.

The NMHCCF:

  • is a united, independent, national voice for consumers and carers committed to reforming mental health in Australia
  • membership is representative, nominated by each state and territory, and national consumer and carer focussed organisations
  • is not an incorporated organisation, and receives secretariat support from, and has an MOU with, Mental Health Australia.

Once established, the NMHCO will:

  • bring together mental health consumers and mental health consumer organisations to work collaboratively towards achieving a shared national vision leading to improved quality of life, social justice and inclusion
  • have a voting membership open to all mental health consumers and mental health consumer organisations across Australia 
  • be a peak organisation – a Company Limited by Guarantee, governed by a majority mental health consumer board

 

Who funds the NMHCCF?

The NMHCCF is funded by each state and territory government.  It is auspiced by Mental Health Australia and the Secretariat (based in Mental Health Australia) is funded through the Australian Government Department of Health. 

 

What is an Auspice?

"Auspice" might be an unusual word, but its meaning is simple. It just means to lend support to someone.

An auspice organisation is responsible for:

  • contract management
  • communication with the funding body
  • receipt, banking and administration of all moneys\

In this instance the NMHCCF is auspiced by Mental Health Australia. In addition the auspice responsibilities noted above, Mental Health Australia provides full secretariat support.

 

How are representatives selected to sit on national committees, working groups or speak at events?

Mental Health Australia and the NMHCCF work collaboratively to identify suitable mental health consumer and carer representatives for national committees and other representative opportunities.  There is a formal selection process which involves:

  • The organisation seeking a consumer and/or carer representative completes a standard form detailing their requirements and necessary information.
  • A call for applications is sent via email to National Register and NMHCCF members by circulating the information received from the organisation
  • Interested representatives submit an application within two weeks of receiving the call for applications, using a standard form
  • A selection panel made up of consumers and carers then make the selection based on the skills, experience and commitment outlined in the application.
  • Details of successful applicants are then provided to the organisation 

 

What are Advocacy Briefs?

Advocacy Briefs are short documents designed to enable consumers, carers and policy makers to better understand and comment on key issues in mental health. The briefs are designed to distill key points and provide speaking points.  The briefs can be used for information or to inform media commentary undertaken by consumers and carers.  Consumers and carers are welcome to adapt the briefs to suit their own needs.

 

How can I contact forum members? 

If you would like to contact a member of the NMHCCF, email [email protected].  

A full list of members can be found at (put link for About us page)

 

I’m looking for consumer and carer representatives to sit on my committee, what do I need to do?

Contact the NMHCCF Secretariat via email, [email protected].  The Secretariat will then forward the necessary form outlining the process and details required.