Online Consultation - Draft National Consensus Statement on physical health of people living with a mental illness

Closed 26 Feb 2016

Opened 9 Feb 2016


Why a National Consensus Statement?

The requirement for the Australian health system to better meet the physical health care needs of people living with a mental illness has long been recognised in research and in practice.

Based on its previous work in this area - the Contributing Life: National Report Card of 2012 and 2013, and Contributing Lives, Thriving Communities: the 2014 National Review of Mental Health Programmes and Services -  the National Mental Health Commission in September 2015 initiated a project to develop a National Consensus Statement, which consolidates the views of diverse stakeholders committed to improving the physical health of people living with a mental illness.

The consultation process

A draft National Consensus Statement has been developed following an extensive consultation process, including advice from a group of experts, more than 30 key interviews, a workshop featuring over 60 organisations and individuals, and a literature and policy review.

We are now seeking final comments on the National Consensus Statement.

We are interested in:

-       your comments on the draft National Consensus Statement, and

-       organisations' commitment to action on the physical health of people living with a mental illness, and to the National Consensus Statement process (these questions will not be available to individuals).

As the National Consensus Statement will represent a commitment by endorsing organisations, responses from organisations intending to endorse the Statement will be prioritised in developing the final Statement.

Please access the online survey linked below to provide your views. The survey questions are also provided in a PDF version below. Microsoft Word and PDF versions of the draft National Consensus Statement are provided below, along with a draft Background Paper for reference.

The survey is open until 11.59pm on Friday 26 February 2016. If you have any queries, please contact Tom Abbott using the details provided.

Information about endorsement and what comes next

In the coming months, the National Consensus Statement will be finalised and sent to interested and relevant organisations for endorsement.

It is intended that the document will be uploaded to a website, accompanied by information about endorsing organisations, showing their public commitment to taking action to improve the physical health of people with a mental illness.

In parallel, the Commission will be working with the Commonwealth and jurisdictional governments to seek their support for the National Consensus Statement, including considering appropriate action that could be included in the Fifth National Mental Health Plan.

Later in 2016, the Commission will work to develop supporting materials for specific audiences, including people with a lived experience of mental illness, their families and support people, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Once finalised, the Commission will continue to promote the statement, and monitor the impact of the commitment to action demonstrated by organisations that endorse it.


  • Non-government organisations
  • State government agencies
  • Commonwealth agencies
  • Health professionals
  • Health workforce
  • Community groups


  • Mental health