About the ACMHN

Setting the standard

The Australian College of Mental Health Nurses (ACMHN) is the voice of the mental health nursing profession in Australia. The College is the peak professional mental health nursing organisation and the recognised credentialing body for Australia's mental health nurses. We represent mental health nurses across all levels of government and health service sectors, and have local branches all across Australia.

The College

  • Sets standards for practice and professionalism
  • Drives research in the field of mental health nursing
  • Communicates the role and benefits of mental health nurses and releases news and current information about the profession 
  • Formally endorses training programs and supports continued professional development of mental health nurse members
  • Promotes the benefits of non-medical approaches to mental health nursing
  • Provides a rigorous professional development events schedule and communicates with members regularly about their experiences in their day-to-day work

Vision statement

Advancing the profession of mental health nursing to enhance the mental health and wellbeing of all those living in our communities. Members work together to ensure the ACMHN is contemporary, thriving, and striving for excellence.

Mission statement

To set and promote standards for excellence in mental health nursing capabilities and therapeutic practice. These standards will solidify the drive towards recognition of mental health nurses as a nursing speciality and attract respect and dignity for mental health nurses and the consumers they work alongside. The ACMHN Constitution outlines further objects for which the College is established.

Our history

In September 1991, the then National Mental Health Nurses Congress formally transitioned into the College of Mental Health Nursing.

At the time, two major trends in mental health policy and service delivery influenced the development of the College's strategy: the integration of mental health services into general health services, and the promotion of community-based treatment, and support to overcome the neglect often experienced by the deinstitutionalised.

With the new federal structure, some devolution of tasks to the state branches took place, including the former ‘rotating’ newsletter and annual report, which was assigned to the state branch hosting the annual convention (nowadays known as the conference). 

Established in 2004, the states and territories of Australia came together to form a peak body for mental health nurses nationally.