The Mentally Healthy Workplace Alliance

Chaired by Lucy Brogden, Chair of the National Mental Health Commission, The Mentally Healthy Workplace Alliance (the Alliance) brings together business, unions, the mental health sector and regulators to promote mentally healthy workplaces. We know that work has a profound impact on our mental health and with 12.6 million people in Australia employed, it is an ideal place to prevent mental illness and help people recover when they are unwell.

The Alliance will partner with all Australian workplaces through the National Workplace Initiative to create mentally healthy workplaces for business and workers – strengthening our community and our economy.

A national workplace initiative 

Over the last two years, the Alliance has prioritised work on a National Workplace Initiative.  This has involved a discussion paper, a literature review and targeted consultations with stakeholders. The outcomes of this work found an appetite for a national initiative for all Australian workplaces.

We have now completed the scoping work and we are committed to extensive stakeholder engagement to gather input about how the National Workplace Initiative might be progressed. Find further information about the Alliance and the Initiative or contact the Alliance at

The guiding principles of the Alliance are:

  • working collaboratively to benefit from the shared expertise, resources and networks of Alliance members
  • drawing on the experience of individuals in the workplace who have experienced a mental health condition
  • promoting the best available research evidence and good practice approaches to create mentally healthy workplaces
  • recognising that the wide variation in business size and culture will require a flexible and scalable approach. 

The Alliance was established by the National Mental Health Commission, and its members organisations are listed below.


Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI)

The Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) speaks on behalf of more than 300,000 Australian businesses, both nationally and internationally. It represents a huge range of organisations, from the top 100 Australian companies to the hundreds of thousands of small traders.

ACCI develops and advocates policies that are in the best interests of Australian business, the economy and community. With this in mind, ACCI is working to help businesses manage the complex issue of mental health in the workplace.  

It provides appropriate, credible and useful resources to help businesses meet their obligations – resources that recognise the needs of all businesses, large or small. A mentally healthy workplace enhances productivity, performance and staff retention. It also boosts the reputation of the employer.   

ACCI is pleased to be a founding member of the Mentally Healthy Alliance. The Alliance provides an opportunity to share good mental health practices across Australia’s workplaces.

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The Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) 

The Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) is the peak union body representing almost 2 million Australian workers and their families.

When union delegates gathered in the Victorian Trades Hall in 1927 to establish the ACTU they had a clear vision - to lift the living standards and quality of working life of working people.

And their strategy to achieve this was also clear – to build union organisation of the workforce on a national basis.

More than 80 years on the ACTU, its affiliated unions and their members celebrate a proud record of achievement on behalf of working Australians and the community.

The industrial gains are many: decades of wage increases through the award system and campaigns in the field, safer workplaces, equality for women, improvements in working hours, entitlements to paid holidays and better employment conditions, and the establishment of a universal superannuation system.
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Australian Industry Group

The Australian Industry Group (Ai Group) is a peak industry association which, along with its affiliates, represents the interests of more than 60,000 businesses in a wide range of sectors.

Ai Group provides practical information, advice and assistance to its members to help them run their businesses more effectively. Through its policy leadership, Ai Group works to promote members' interests and ensure they have a voice at all levels of government.

Ai Group strongly supports open discussion on mental health matters, and understands it makes good business sense to invest in prevention and treatment services.

The Australian Psychological Society Ltd

The Australian Psychological Society (APS) is the largest professional association for psychologists in Australia and is committed to advancing psychology as a discipline and profession. It spreads the message that psychologists make a difference to people’s lives, through improving scientific knowledge and community wellbeing.

The APS’s psychologically healthy workplace program that assesses the psychological health of workplaces, endorsing those which have successfully promoted positive health and wellbeing for employees. All participating organisations are provided with feedback on their strengths and areas for improvement, and referred to resources that can help them foster a more psychologically healthy workplace.

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Beyond Blue

Beyond Blue is an independent, not-for-profit organisation working to increase awareness and understanding of depression and anxiety in Australia and to reduce the associated stigma.

The Beyond Blue Workplace and Workforce program is focused on providing national leadership to reduce the impact of depression and anxiety across Australian workplaces and workforces. Beyond Blue aims to build the capacity of industries, workplaces and individuals to creating mentally healthy working environments.

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Black Dog Institute

The Black Dog Institute is dedicated to improving the lives of people affected by mood disorders through its high quality translational research, clinical expertise and national education programs.

Founded in 2002, the Black Dog Institute is a world-leader in the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of depression, bipolar disorder and suicide. As an organisation, it focuses on the rapid translation of quality research into improved clinical practice, increased accessibility for consumers, and the delivery of long-term public health solutions.

This unique model incorporates expertise in clinical management with cutting-edge research, health professional training and community education to ensure a positive impact at all stages from prevention and early intervention through to treatment and recovery.

To maximise its reach, Black Dog Institute partners with universities, health services and community groups across the country. It also provides evidence-based workplace programs to protect and maintain the mental health of workers from a variety of backgrounds.

Business Council of Australia

Business Council of Australia

The Business Council of Australia (BCA) is an association of the chief executives of 100 of Australia’s leading companies, which researches and promotes economic growth policies for the benefit of the nation and all Australians.

BCA members contribute to the development of a policy agenda that covers a range of areas including economic policy and competitiveness, regulation, infrastructure and sustainable growth, the labour market, skills and education, engagement with Indigenous Australians, a business-in-the-community engagement agenda, global engagement, healthcare policy and innovation.

In 2013 the BCA released its Action Plan for Enduring Prosperity as a contribution to the debate on Australia’s long-term economic and social development.



Founded in 1979, the Council of Small Business Australia (COSBOA) has a proud history of strong advocacy on small business issues. COSBOA is the country's peak body representing the interests of small businesses. Its goals are to:

  • promote and support development
  • advocate the interests of small businesses, including through policy change and regulatory reform
  • increase awareness and understanding of the role of small business.

COSBOA provides the expertise and resources required to be alert to the myriad of legislative and regulatory change. Close relationships with government ensures it’s aware of political developments that might help or hinder business.

National Mental Health Commission

The National Mental Health Commission provides independent reports and advice to the community and government on mental health and suicide prevention. The Commission established the Mentally Healthy Workplace Alliance to bring together key stakeholders committed to creating mentally healthy workplaces.

Through its work, the Commission promotes mutually beneficial outcomes for all individuals in the workplace (particularly those who have experienced mental health difficulties), businesses and the broader community. This is reflected in the Commission’s two report cards, which recommended creating a national strategy for reducing discrimination, growing the peer workforce and increasing the levels of participation of people with mental health difficulties in employment, education and training.

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Mental Health Australia

Mental Health Australia (MHA) is the peak non-government body representing the mental health sector in Australia. MHA’s vision is for mentally healthy people and mentally healthy communities. With dedicated staff and an energetic Board, MHA works passionately towards designing the best mental health system in the world. It advocates for broad systemic reform, including the workplace, education and employment.

MHA strives to achieve meaningful change through close consultation with people who live with mental illness and the people who care for them, with their member organisations and other stakeholders.

Safe Work Australia

Safe Work Australia is an Australian Government statutory agency whose primary role is to develop policy to improve work health and safety and workers’ compensation arrangements across Australia. Safe Work Australia is responsible for coordinating and developing national policy and strategies, developing model work health and safety laws, undertaking research, and collecting, analysing and reporting data. Safe Work Australia does not regulate work health and safety.

Safe Work Australia works collaboratively with the community, work health and safety authorities, industry groups and unions to achieve the national vision of healthy, safe and productive working lives.

The materials on this Website are not intended to be a substitute for professional advice and should not be not be taken to represent the views of Safe Work Australia unless otherwise expressly stated.

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SANE Australia is a national charity helping all Australians affected by mental illness lead a better life. SANE pursues this mission in three key areas:

  • Support (including the SANE Helpline, Helpline Online Chat, and forthcoming SANE Forums)
  • Training (including working with employers, the media, and health professionals)
  • Education (including information resources for people living with mental illness, families, employers ad employees).

Knowledge about mental health and suicide prevention is essential in the workplace - for both employers and employees. SANE is a proud partner in the Mentally Health Workplace Alliance, and has developed a range of services and resources to help employers and employees in this area.


SuperFriend is a nationwide health promotion foundation that helps 'all profit to member' superannuation funds to promote and support improved mental health and wellbeing for their members, through the workplace.

SuperFriend collaborates with Partner Funds, Partner Group Insurers and the mental health sector to facilitate targeted workplace mental health initiatives for Australian workplaces.

SuperFriend’s work focuses on the development, promotion and facilitation of information, resources, programs and research about workplace mental health. By improving the understanding of mental health and mental illness in individuals and workplaces, SuperFriend influences the policies and practices that foster mentally healthy, supportive work environments.



Comcare is the national authority for work health and safety, and workers’ compensation. It is a government regulator, workers’ compensation insurer, claims manager and scheme administrator. Across a diverse jurisdiction of 400,000 workers and 200 employers.

Comcare works with employees and other workers, employers, service providers and other organisations to:

  • minimise the impact of harm in the workplace,
  • improve recovery at work and return to work, and
  • promote the health benefits of good work.

Comcare collaborates and partners with other schemes and organisations on research and innovative projects that prevent injury and support timely, safe and durable return to work, including in complex operating environments of workplace transformation and technological change.

As a partner in the Mentally Healthy Workplace Alliance, Comcare recognises that mentally healthy workplaces have positive outcomes for individuals, workplaces and society and is focused on driving better practice in workplaces across its scheme.

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The Australasian Faculty of Occupational & Environmental Medicine (AFOEM)

The Australasian Faculty of Occupational & Environmental Medicine (AFOEM) is a Faculty of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP) that connects and represents Occupational & Environmental Medicine Fellows and trainees in Australia and New Zealand.

The AFOEM is committed to establishing and maintaining a high standard of training and practice in Occupational and Environmental Medicine in Australia and New Zealand through the training and continuing professional development of its members and advocating on their behalf to shape the future of healthcare.