APS Mental Health Capability Project

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Publication Date: 
March 2021

Our department led a review of workplace mental health and wellbeing across the Australian Public Service (APS). Staff from more than 100 agencies participated in the project. As a result, we developed a proposed whole-of-APS Mental Health Capability Framework.

This diagram shows a circle. At the centre is the  APS Mental Health Capability Framework. 6 surrounding quadrants show the evidence-informed domains (listed in the text below). Arrows move clockwise showing a continual loop. 2 circles surround the core, labelled for the workplace and worker.


The proposed APS Mental Health Capability Framework:

  • provides a systems-based approach to building mental health and suicide prevention capability within the APS
  • acts as an overarching architecture that remains flexible and adaptable to agency-specific needs

Six evidence-informed domains underpin the framework:

  • prevent harm
  • promote mental health
  • support recovery pathways
  • build literacy and develop capability
  • leadership and governance
  • evaluate and improve

Together they enable agencies to use different mechanisms to support the development of mentally healthy workplaces.

Piloting the framework

In July 2020, the Secretaries Board of the APS endorsed piloting the proposed framework. Pilots are underway with several agencies. A key focus is testing how the framework’s domains and their underpinning action items translate in the APS context.

Contact us

If you are looking to use the proposed framework in an APS agency, or would like implementation resources, email the APS Mental Health Capability Taskforce: APSMentalHealthCapability@industry.gov.au