Regional Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan

What is the Regional Plan?

The Central and Eastern Sydney Regional Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan (the Regional Plan) is an agreement about what needs to change, by when, how and who will be responsible for making the change happen.

The plan has a 3-year focus (2019-2022) and will inform high-quality decision making, ensuring that resources are targeted to best respond to local mental health and suicide prevention needs.

The Regional Plan aims to improve mental health, physical health and wellbeing of people with or at risk of mental health issues or at risk of suicide.

You can read the regional plan here.


Since our launch in October 2019, we have been working collaboratively to implement the regional plan. We asked some of our members to share their experiences: 

“I’ve really enjoyed being involved as a lived experience representative in two of the working groups for the Regional Plan (Communications, Access, Pathways, Partnerships, Promotions – “CAPPP” and Headstart). I’m really passionate about supporting and promoting mental health and wellbeing within my local community, and so being able to contribute via these two working groups has been really rewarding. I’ve also enjoyed meeting and working with the other amazing group members. Thank you to CESPHN for the opportunities.”

Candice Fuller
Lived Experience Representative

“I am honoured to be a ‘lived experience’ representative on the PHN Regional Plan. As a carer I feel I have been really listened to and I have been very much involved in the co-design process with the PHN on this project.  

It is a wonderful opportunity to help build a regional plan that is designed to assist everyone, carers, consumers and clinicians, right from the grass roots level.  I believe people in the region are privileged to have such a pro-active and caring PHN and I am looking forward to the completion and rollout of this important project.”

Lyn Anderson
Lived Experience Representative

“I feel grateful to be a part of a working group of members who are so passionate, respectful, supportive, and collaborative. Not only have I been able to share my experiences and thoughts towards matters that are close to my heart, but I have alsobeen able to learn, listen and understand the experiences and thoughts of others.

These opportunities to listen and discusshave the power to positively create change for my people and I am thankful for this opportunity.”

Natasha  Janif
Community Representative


The Regional Plan is a collaborative project and benefits from the contribution of individuals and organisations that live and work in Central and Eastern Sydney.  

If you are undertaking a project that addresses one of the seven Regional Plan’s Priority Areas, we would love to hear from you.  

  • Priority Area One – An accessible and Equitable System 
  • Priority Area Two – Improving the Mental Health of Priority Population Groups 
  • Priority Area Three – The Physical Health of People with Mental Illness 
  • Priority Area Four – Aboriginal Mental Health and Suicide Prevention 
  • Priority Area Five – Suicide Prevention 
  • Priority Area Six – Integrated Services 
  • Priority Area Seven – Workforce  

If you have further questions, require further information or would like to be involved please


The Regional Plan for Central and Eastern Sydney is a joint initiative and overseen by a Steering Committee comprised of representatives from:

Picture 1

Key stakeholders from the primary and secondary care sector, sector peak bodies, community managed organisations, lived experience representatives and community representatives are members of the various committees, subcommittees and working groups that are responsible for the implementation of Regional Plan actions.


Operating since 1896, the Medical Benevolent Association of NSW (MBANSW) is Registered Charity that provides counselling and financial assistance during crises, illness, impairment and grief in support of:

  • medical practitioners and their families
  • retired doctors and their families
  • families of deceased medical practitioners
  • others as determined by the Council.

Click here to go to Medical Benevolent Association of NSW website.

Committee/ Working Group Chair Responsibility
Implementation Committee

Catherine McPherson

Mental Health and Regional Planning Manager, CESPHN 


Jonathan Harms

Chief Executive Officer, Mental Health Carers NSW

The Implementation Committee has been meeting since late 2019 and throughout 2020 to guide implementation of the Regional Plan


The Implementation Committee has explored how current policy focuses and current projects can help in the implementation of the Regional Plan. 

PIDD Sub-Committee

Megan Still  

Service Planning and Innovation Manager, SLHD

The Planning, Investment, Data and Design Sub-Committee have been meeting throughout 2020 to support the work of the Implementation Committee and Working Groups by providing data and analysis of trends in the health care landscape in central and eastern Sydney. 

Aboriginal Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Working Group

Lisa Merrison

Aboriginal Health & Wellbeing Programs and Suicide Prevention Manager, CESPHN 

The Aboriginal Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Working Group have been meeting throughout 2020 to implement actions in the regional plan that deals with mental health outcomes and the mental health workforce for Aboriginal communities. 

They have been exploring the current commissioning process for services for Aboriginal communities and exploring how cultural safety can be embedded in all stages of this process. 

CAPPP Working Group

Irene Gallagher 

Chief Executive Officer, Being

The Communications, Access, Pathways, Promotions and Partnerships Group have been meeting throughout 2020 to implement actions in the regional plan that deal with collaboration and communication.

The CAPPP has been focused on how information is shared looking at pathways GP’s can access through Health Pathways and how consumers and carers can access information. 

Suicide Prevention Working Group

Lesley Pullen 

Youth Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Manager, CESPHN 

The Suicide Prevention Working Group is newly formed and is working in partnership with Local Health Districts to form a coordinated response meeting the commonwealths Towards Zero Suicides Initiatives.

Workforce and Training Working Group

Chris Keyes 

Drug Health Manager, CESPHN 


Sally Dumbrell 

Learning & Development ManagerMHCC

The Workforce and Training Working Group have been meeting throughout 2020 to implement actions in the regional plan that deals with the Mental Health Workforce. 

They have undergone a comprehensive audit of training available in the region for health practitioners which they plan to inform their work moving forward. 

Resource Working Group Responsible Overview

Governance and TOR  

Steering Committee & Implementation Committee


The Governance and Terms of Reference for the seven committees and working groups involved in the Regional Plan. 

Orientation Pack for Lived Experience Representatives  

Steering Committee & Implementation Committee

A handbook for lived experience representatives joining the committees and working groups of the Regional Plan.

One Year On – Central and Eastern Sydney Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Regional Plan Video Report

Steering Committee & Implementation Committee

A video report highlighting the success and challenges of our first year of implementing the Regional Plan.

One Year On – Central and Eastern Sydney Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Regional Plan Infographic  

Steering Committee & Implementation Committee

A visual summary of key achievements from the first year of implementing the Regional Plan

Two Years On – Central and Eastern Sydney Mental Health and Suicide
Prevention Regional Plan Implementation Report Card

Steering Committee & Implementation Committee

A visual summary of key achievements from the second year of implementing the Regional Plan

Active Waitlist Management Guide

Communications, Access, Pathways, and Promotion Working Group

This best practice guide has been developed to ensure that primary mental health services have the tools and information to effectively respond to demand.


The regional plan has been developed over a 12 month period in partnership with over 250 local communities and stakeholders including health care service providers, sector peaks people with lived experience, carers and family members. The plan also extends to include actions identified by Government as requiring regional attention.

The following policies as strategies have informed the Regional Plan:

  1. Fifth National Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan
  2. Living Well – A Strategic Plan for Mental Health in NSW
  3. Equally Well Consensus Statement
  4. GayaaDhuwi– Proud Spirit Declaration
  5. Local Health District and Specialist Network Mental Health Plans
  6. CESPHN Needs Assessment
  7. NSW Strategic Framework for Mental Health

The Central and Eastern Sydney Regional Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan (the Regional Plan) was developed jointly by: Central and Eastern Sydney PHN, Sydney Local Health District, South Eastern Sydney Local Health District, St Vincent’s Health Network and the Sydney Children’s Hospital, the peak bodies for people with lived experience (Being NSW), for carers (NSW Mental Health Carers), and community managed organisations (the Mental Health Coordinating Council).

Many actions within the Regional Plan focus on improving access to relevant continuing professional development for the mental health, suicide prevention, and broader health and community workforces. In particular, action 2.3 states that the Steering Committee will: facilitate professional development activities focussed on working therapeutically with priority population groups.


Users of this resource acknowledge the following:

  1. This resource is a collection of information about training and continuing professional development opportunities but is not an endorsement or recommendation of quality and appropriateness.
  2. This resource is updated on a quarterly basis, and users should revisit regionalplan to check for the most recent version.
  3. The Central and Eastern Sydney Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Steering Committee has taken all reasonable efforts to include up-to-date information in this resource- however the Steering Committee cannot not guarantee that the content in this resource is complete or up-to date. If you notice any incorrect or outdated information, please send feedback to:
  4. The information included in this resource was gathered through extensive online research and sector consultation. If your organisation facilitates or delivers training that is of relevance to the mental health and suicide prevention sectors and you would like to include information about this training, please email: and the information will be included in the next quarterly update cycle.