Minister Shorten values mental health nurse "warriors"

Tuesday 18 April 2023

Addressing 10 years of NDIS neglect, Minister Shorten has acknowledged the value Credentialed Mental Health Nurses (CMHNs) create and is open to talking further with the College to better engage CMHNs in providing services to Australians.

At the National Press Club of Australia today, the Australian College of Mental Health Nurses (ACMHN) posed the question “do you see there being an opportunity to involve CMHNs more in the NDIS program, if so, how?” to Hon Bill Shorten MP, Minister for the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) and Minister for Government Services.

Minister Shorten agreed with ACMHN Chief Executive Officer Adrian Armitage saying that MHNs are "warriors" in a “challenging mental health system”.

Following his passionate address about securing the future of the NDIS, Minister Shorten again referenced an analogy of a broken-down house with shut doors to describe the opportunities currently available to MHNs. Minister Shorten agreed that “doors need to be opened” for MHNs.

The address included a detailed summary of six reform pillars to “restore the NDIS”, including a plan to focus on “increasing mainstream services in the NDIS” which relates to opening doors for MHNs. The ACMHN welcomes the Federal Government’s willingness to properly identify highly qualified CMHNs to help more Australians who require mental health support.

CMHNs are highly skilled mental health clinicians who’ve undergone a meticulous assessment by the ACMHN. Currently, there is not sufficient recognition of CMHNs in NDIS which severely limits the ability of this specialised group to work and help provide a broader long-term solution to deliver the best care.

Greater recognition of CMHNs in the NDIS program reform will offer significantly better impact for the patient population most in need of additional mental health services. “It is great to hear that Minister Shorten sees an opportunity to involve CMHNs more in the NDIS program of work,” said Mr Armitage.

“The ACMHN looks forward to working with Minister Shorten on addressing the need for standards for mental health nurses and opening the scope and opportunity for CMHNs to contribute to a future reinvigorated NDIS.

Added to this is the important value placed on the ACMHN and specifically the CMHN category that was recently re-ratified by Minister Butler a couple of weeks ago."

For further comment, please contact ACMHN Media Officer, Sophie Howard on: (02) 6285 1078.


Australian College of Mental Health Nurses press release, mental health nursing

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