Mental Health


The Australian Greens believe that

  1. Mental health and wellbeing depend on the complex interactions between the social, environmental, psychological, physical, biological, economic, political, cultural and spiritual aspects of life.
  2. A human-rights based approach to mental health is necessary to recognise the historical and continued trauma inflicted by failings of mental health practices and systems.
  3. The impacts of the climate crisis both directly and indirectly affect mental health and wellbeing. All levels of government must take immediate action on the climate crisis to mitigate distress.
  4. First Nations Peoples’ mental health and well-being encompasses the inter-related domains of body, mind, emotions, family and kinship, community, culture, Country and spirituality. The Gayaa Dhuwi Declaration must underpin all approaches to First Nations’ mental health.
  5. Recognition and access to traditional treatments and medicines is essential in addressing First Nations Peoples and communities’ mental health needs.
  6. Ongoing colonisation and the resulting disconnection from family, Country and culture have significantly impacted the mental health of First Nations People. First Nations People must have equity in mental health service provision.
  7. Distress is often the result of social hardships, environmental factors, and/or violence, trauma, abuse, exploitation and neglect.
  8. People experiencing severe distress or a mental  condition should be supported to access multiple evidence-informed models, therapies and supports to find a model that works for them and aligns with their explanatory framework.
  9. Everyone should have universal, free access to the evidence-informed and human rights-aligned therapies and supports they choose, and non-biased information on available supports in order to make those choices.
  10. The mental health system must work collaboratively and in conjunction with disability supports and the health system to ensure that all people with psychosocial disabilities including those with mental health conditions and neurodivergent people have the supports they need.
  11. People with lived experience have the right to be free from discrimination and to be able to exercise self-agency.
  12. People experiencing distress should always be informed of their rights and be supported to advocate for those rights.
  13. Government decision making based purely on economics is harming people’s mental health. All areas of government policy making must address the social determinants and remove structural barriers to ensure people's life needs are met, to promote wellbeing and prevent harm, especially for future generations.
  14. Systemic and structural oppression, oppressive practices, and oppressive discourses and labels that perpetuate harm need to be eliminated.
  15. The design, planning and evaluation of the Mental Health system must be led by people with lived experience. The lived experience workforce should be a key component within the system and available to everyone.
  16. The mental health system should be transformed so that it's grounded in and developed from relevant lived experience and scientific evidence, so that it empowers and enables meaningful lives. The knowledge, language and approaches prioritised by those with lived experience should underpin all mental health services and philosophy.
  17. Much of the current mental health system and workforces are built on colonial and racist principles, objectives and knowledge systems, and need to undergo a process of decolonisation and anti-racism to remove power imbalances and end discrimination.
  18. Individuals own their personal health information so it can be collected, used (including research use) and retained only with their prior and express consent. Individuals have a right of access to their personal health information.


Aims – Transforming the Health System

The Greens want:

  1. Free and universal access to timely, public and culturally safe consultations, assessments, diagnosis and medications.
  2. All aspects of the mental health system to be designed and delivered as much as possible by people with lived experience.
  3. Evidence-informed approaches that respond to the person’s needs, preferences, and strengths.
  4. Funding and resources to support trials of evidence-informed lived experience driven approaches to prevention and support.
  5. Health service user-directed utilisation of medical/clinical model approaches where the individual requires, as part of a suite of responses that support all of the person’s needs.
  6. Education to address the language and assumptions about mental or emotional distress that promote stereotypes, prejudice and discrimination, including psychiatric labels that stigmatise.
  7. All health services and health workers to be trauma-informed and trauma-trained to provide safe services.
  8. All public policies and budgets, education courses and government legislation to be informed by lived experience and research.
  9. A system that collaborates between all levels of Government and across government departments to address the social, economic and environmental determinants of distress, and ensure wrap-around care and support is provided.
  10. Development of a coherent design model for community mental health, led by lived experience, that increases the role and capacity of the public and community sectors.
  11. Easier, broader referral systems so people can access the supports they need.
  12. Clear, transparent and timely communication between all parts of the health and mental health care systems to enable high quality care, ensuring patient consent is gained at all times.
  13. Oversight bodies to be independent and include consumer representatives. They are to be fully funded to protect individuals utilising mental health care systems through research, policy advice, data collection and education.
  14. Aggregated health data or information to be used after de-identification or with the express consent of the individuals who own the personal information.

Aims – Mental Health and the Climate Crisis

The Greens want:

  1. Governments to fully fund all measures necessary for responding to the climate crisis and its impacts on mental health, including through education.
  2. The latest research and evidence to be utilised for planning, prevention and delivery of community led, multisectoral approaches to respond to the mental health impacts of disasters.

Aims – Prevention and Early Intervention

The Greens want:

  1. A systemic focus on prevention, health promotion and early intervention that:
    1. is fully funded;
    2. genuinely addresses social determinants; and
    3. emphasises education campaigns and programs that raise community responsiveness, address social connectedness, and enhance community cohesion.
  2. A national framework established for mental health promotion and prevention with an action plan to which all states and territories are accountable.
  3. To ban all therapies, treatments and practices which subject disabled people to violence, abuse and neglect and are non-compliant with Australia's obligations under the CRPD, including but not limited to Applied Behavioural Analysis (ABA) Conversion practices, and all other conversion practices used on neurodivergent people.

Aims – Services and Supports

The Greens want:

  1. Targeted programs for priority communities, parents, caregivers, children and young people aimed at preventing and addressing adverse experiences in childhood.
  2. Specialised trauma recovery supports for trauma-affected people, with a focus on children and youth, including ensuring they have income, a safe home and a network of family and community support.
  3. Publicly funded and operated, universally accessible, freely available and lived experience-led care centres that are designed, operated and staffed by multi-disciplinary teams, in addition to hospital and clinical settings.
  4. Mental health crisis response teams available Australia-wide which only engage a police response where absolutely required.
  5. Community-led and developed initiatives to support families in crisis, particularly for those at risk of or experiencing family and domestic violence.
  6. Implementation of safe methods and facilities for risk and harm minimisation that replace the use of restrictive practices.
  7. Universal and free access to mental health advocacy services for all service users.
  8. Ensure that the NDIS is fully funded and able to support people with psychosocial disabilities.

Aims – Workforce

The Greens want:

  1. All Australian mental health professionals’ training and development transformed towards including lived-experience and trauma-informed perspectives, led and delivered by those who have lived experience of mental health conditions.
  2. To enable all those with lived experience of mental health conditions, from diverse communities and with professional backgrounds to be equally able to participate in the workforce without discrimination or power imbalances.
  3. A focus on workforce development for peer support workers, including developing a national peer workforce education and accreditation system.
  4. No one to be denied mental health support or treatment because of discrimination.
  5. Greater access to more diverse ranges of mental health and other professionals who reflect the community they work with.

Aims – Suicide prevention and post-vention

The Greens want:

  1. Free and easily accessible programs that can support individuals and target whole communities affected by suicide.
  2. Long-term aftercare for people who try to take their own lives.
  3. Specialised services for bereaved children and young people.
  4. Long-term investment in evidence-informed alternatives to emergency departments for those experiencing crisis.
  5. Governments and government departments to be held accountable for ensuring action to reduce suicide.

Aims – Priority Communities

The Greens want:

  1. Strategies to ensure access to safe and inclusive care for priority groups.
  2. Long-term sustained resourcing for individual and community-specific needs and evidence-based strategies.
  3. People with psychosocial disabilities to be connected with advocacy and services to access the NDIS or other disability supports.
  4. Culturally safe, appropriate and timely mental health services for refugees and asylum seekers, especially those in detention.
  5. Flexible funding models which accommodate the time needed by service users, and which remove caps on the number of appointments users can access.
  6. Greater education, training, research and availability of programs about non-suicidal self-harm for all health and mental health professionals.
  7. All people who access mental health care to receive information in a language or format they can understand.
  8. Expanded funding for programs and supports that promote men’s social connectedness and help-seeking.
  9. People in rural, regional and remote communities to have equitable access to effective and quality mental health services.
  10. Coordinated action to prevent youth suicide led by young people that prioritises First Nations youth and ensures the social determinants are addressed.
  11. To expand young people’s access to school-based or school-referred mental health promotion, prevention, professionals and services.
  12. Equitable improvements in the ratio of school-based mental health professionals to students.
  13. Significant expansion of access to early intervention, therapies and supports for people experiencing, or at-risk of developing eating-related disorders, particularly in non-metropolitan areas.

Aims – Justice

The Greens want:

  1. Universal access to mental health legal services and embedded legal support or referrals for legal support available in all mental health services.
  2. Equitable legal representation that redresses the power imbalance between clients and mental health professionals.
  3. Increased legal funding and accessibility for specialist mental health legal services in all states and territories.
  4. An end to indefinite detention of mentally impaired accused persons.
  5. Governments to provide mental health support to people with intellectual or cognitive disabilities and psychosocial disabilities who otherwise would be in the prison system, with community-based restrictions and rehabilitation programs the preferred approach.
  6. All States and Territories to provide well-funded programs and specialised care and support for mentally impaired persons which, in accordance with procedural fairness, divert them from the criminal justice system, particularly in regional and remote areas.
  7. Provision of universally accessible mental health services within correctional facilities.
  8. Mandatory training in de-escalation techniques and trauma-informed practices for police and correctional services.

(Mental Health policy as adopted by National Conference October 2023.)

The Australian Greens recognise that many people may experience co-occurring mental and physical disability and alcohol and other drug issues, and understand the importance of connected, wrap-around supports. Please refer to related policies for further information. 

Related policies: