Vision and Priorities

The Mental Health Carers Voice Program works with carers to create a better mental health system nationally and in the ACT.

Our vision is an ACT community that recognises, values and includes mental health carers.

Our 2024-27 priorities

In response to the prevalent sentiment that mental health carers often feel invisible or disregarded within the community and service interactions, our strategic priority focuses on enhancing recognition and support for carers. Acknowledging the profound impact of invisibility on carers’ wellbeing, we aim to foster acceptance of their integral role within the care team. This initiative extends beyond traditional settings, seeking to establish a more inclusive and supportive environment for mental health carers in all environments that they interact with. We recognise the necessity for a robust alliance between the service sector and mental health carers, working collaboratively to ensure their visibility and receive the support they rightfully deserve.

  • Goal 1.1: Carers are seen, valued, and supported in their workplaces and education.
  • Goal 1.2: The Carers Recognition Act 2021 (ACT) is integrated into the mental health system, with mental health workers, clinicians, and GPs knowledgeable about carers and know how to support them.

What this would look like for carers:

  • Having a say in the choices that affect them.
  • Having their needs met by the services they interact with.

What success would look like in the long term:

  • A 5% increase in the number of carers who report feeling confident in having a say and being heard.
  • A 20% increase in the number of carers reporting inclusion, respect, and communication with mental health services.

How will we likely get there:

  • Carer inclusive practices are embedded into the services that are regularly used by mental health carers.
  • Carer awareness training is embedded into Governments’ employment induction and learning platforms.
  • Any new or amended public service policy or service provision considers the impact on carers through the development of a carer impact statement, particularly for services that are regularly used by mental health carers.


Understanding the heightened stress and burnout experienced by mental health carers due to the demanding nature of their roles, our strategic priority is to actively work towards improving the quantity and quality of carers’ personal time. Recognising that carers often sacrifice personal time, interests, and potential pursuits due to their caring responsibilities; we aim to advocate for avenues such as respite to provide them with essential relief. ‘Respite’ in this sense is not limited to a service, but an outcome that includes any form of support which gives carers a break from their caring role. By facilitating breaks from the caring roles, we hope to enable mental health carers to engage in self-care, pursue personal interests, and participate in education or employment opportunities that contribute to their overall wellbeing.

  • Goal 2.1: The ACT community and government have a comprehensive understanding of respite, with appropriate options made available for mental health carers.

What this would look like for carers:

  • Having the choice to take part in nourishing activities.

What success would look like in the long term:

  • A 7% increase in carers reporting high quality use of personal time, bridging the gap between carers and non-carers.

How we will likely get there:

  • An increased range of opportunities for relief from the caring role is both available and taken up by mental health carers in the ACT.

In response to feedback revealing that mental health carers often feel ill-equipped and overwhelmed when navigating the mental health system, advocating for the people they care for, and tending to their own wellbeing, our strategic priority focuses on building capability and confidence. We are committed to improving access to information, education, and self-support services that enable carers in their roles. By providing resources and support mechanisms, we aim to enhance their knowledge, navigate the complexities of the mental health system, and foster a sense of confidence in their ability to care effectively for their loved ones while prioritising their own mental wellbeing.

  • Goal 3.1: Carers can comfortably and confidently navigate the mental health service system.
  • Goal 3.2: Mental health carers have access to appropriate, timely, and quality training programs and information resources to support them in their caring role.
  • Goal 3.3: Mental health carers access supports that enhance their own wellbeing.

What this would look like for carers:

  • Feeling empowered to direct the course of their caring role.
  • Knowing where to turn to in times of crisis.
  • Having the confidence to ask for the support they need.

What success would look like in the long term:

  • An increase in personal wellbeing scores over time, with a score closer to that of non-carers.
  • A 10% decrease in carers reporting uncertainty about how to best support the person/people they care for.

How we will likely get there:

  • Advocating for the availability of integrated and/or co-located.
  • Navigation and advocacy resources that meet carer needs are effectively embedded into ACT mental health systems.
  • The Foundational Supports system effectively includes carers needs, including appropriate modes of mental health education and training.

Click here to read our 2024-2027 Strategic Plan, created with in collaboration with mental health carers and sector partners.

You can also see our 2020-2023 Strategic Plan here.