The SA Mental Health Commission (SAMHC) was established by the State Government in October 2015 under the SA Public Sector Act 2009.
Mental illness is common and statistics show that an estimated 1 in 2 Australian adults will experience mental illness in their lifetime.
That’s why the SA Mental Health Commission is committed to strengthening the mental health and wellbeing of South Australians.
The Commission is uniquely placed to work in strong partnership with people with lived experience and their carers, the community, service providers, government, non-government and private organisations, industry, clinicians, and academic institutions. The Commission also works across government agencies including housing, health, education, employment, justice and disability.
The Commission released the SA Mental Health Strategic Plan 2017-2022 in late 2017 and is now coordinating the implementation of the Plan.
The Plan sets the strategic direction for building a resilient, compassionate and connected community that takes a whole-of-person, whole-of-life, whole-of-community and whole-of-government approach to building, sustaining and strengthening the mental health and wellbeing of South Australians.
In all its work, including the development of the Plan, the Commission ensures people with lived experience of mental illness, their families, friends, loved ones and carers are central to conversations held across metropolitan and country South Australia.
The Commission also ensures SA has a strong voice on the national level through attendance of regular meetings of the National Mental Health Commission and state Mental Health Commissions.
Other key tasks of the Commission include engaging with the mental health sector and the community to promote the sharing of knowledge on mental health issues and breaking down the stigma associated with mental illness.
On January 6, 2020, three new Mental Health Commissioners were appointed and report directly to the Minister for Health and Wellbeing. They are Professor Sharon Lawn, Heather Nowak and David Kelly.
The inaugural SA Mental Health Commissioner was Chris Burns CSC.
The SA Mental Health Commission is not a mental health service provider and does not have a formal role in individual complaints or concerns about services.