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APS Mental Health Capability Project

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Publication Date: 
1 March 2019

We’re reviewing mental health management in the Australian Public Service (APS) on behalf of the Secretaries Equality and Diversity Council.

The APS Mental Health Capability Project aims to:

  • identify major barriers affecting mental health management in the APS
  • understand managers’ capability and confidence when recruiting, managing and supporting people with mental health conditions
  • develop a best practice approach to mental health that can be shared across the APS

We will consider:

  • public sector experiences and views through a survey and collaborative workshops
  • private sector approaches to wellbeing at work
  • peer-reviewed academic research for a consistent evidence-base

Discovery project

A 12-week discovery project uncovered the inhibitors—real or perceived—that managers have when recruiting and managing people with mental health conditions.

Our research identified key barriers and indicated that research was needed to explore a wider range of experiences.


The APS Mental Health Capability Review survey investigated the discovery project findings across the APS. Over 16,000 people volunteered to share their views, representing close to 150 agencies.


We will hold collaborative workshops and focus groups across Australia in 2019. The workshops will explore trends that emerge from the survey data.

Staff from a range of APS agencies will work together to develop solutions to improve manager capability in relation to mental health. They will also look at ways to reduce stigma. Sessions will include participants based in regional and rural areas. This will ensure the solutions are fit-for-purpose across the whole of the APS.

We strongly encourage you to nominate for a workshop, particularly if you work in a regional or remote area. To nominate email

Contact us

For more information on this project, or to join the mailing list, please email the APS Mental Health Capability Taskforce:

See also

Read how we are supporting mental health in our Work Well Strategy