About the Sector

The NSW Community Managed Mental Health Sector

The community managed sector in NSW is made up of mostly not-for-profit organisations that provide community-based services to help keep people well in the community. They provide prevention, early intervention, rehabilitation programs and psychosocial services that support recovery from a mental health condition.

The community managed mental health sector has a long history that predates the advent of psychiatric medication and deinstitutionalisation. Today there are over 800 organisations in Australia that deliver a diverse range of mental health support services. These community-managed organisations (CMOs) employ about 20,000 skilled mental health practitioners with more than 70% holding tertiary qualifications (allied health degrees, vocational qualifications, etc).

CMOs are critical for achieving the government’s policy objectives of recovery and social inclusion for people living with mental illness.


Sector Mapping Report

MHCC has produced an invaluable overview of the sector with its NSW Community Managed Mental Health Sector Mapping Report (2010). This report describes the mental health programs delivered by CMOs in NSW. These programs are highly diverse with an estimated 247 CMOs delivering 347 mental health programs.

The seven core CMO mental health service types identified in the report are:

  • Accommodation support and outreach
  • Employment and education
  • Leisure and recreation
  • Family and carer support
  • Self-help and peer support
  • Helpline and counselling services
  • Promotion, information and advocacy

WayAhead Directory

The WayAhead Directory is a comprehensive, free online database of mental health and community services in NSW. The Directory contains up-to-date information on 6000 services in NSW together with explanation of mental health jargon, fact sheets, legislation, government programs and where to get help.