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Vision and goals

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Why We Exist

People living with complex mental health issues face stigma, discrimination and a fragmented and unequal mental health system. Two recent enquiries - the Productivity Commission Mental Health Inquiry1 and the Royal Commission into Victoria's Mental Health System2 - highlighted the social and economic impacts of mental ill-health on the Australian community. These reviews outlined a path forward for a better, more connected and person-centered mental health system.

An estimated 880,000 Australians over 18 years of age are living with complex mental illness in any year, including schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, borderline personality disorder, major depressive disorder, severe anxiety, OCD and PTSD, substance use disorders and eating disorders3. The estimated 205,000 Autistc people4 and 588,700 people with intellectual disability5 also face significant gaps in appropriate mental health support6,7. Around 1.4 million Australians, or 8.5 per cent of the population, experience two or more mental health conditions in any given year8.

Inaccessible treatment and support can lead to declining mental health, followed by preventable physical and mental distress, disruption in education and employment, relationship breakdowns, stigma and loss of quality of life and opportunities.

Our vision

A brighter future for people affected by complex mental health issues by ending mental health inequity and social and economic exclusion.

Our strategic plan

Download SANE's strategic plan.

Our goals

For people with complex mental health issues, trauma, autistic people or people with intellectual disability who seek better management, and their families, we have three goals:

  1. End mental health inequity through systemic change.
  2. Eliminate stigma, discrimination, and social exclusion.
  3. Equal employment and economic opportunity.

Our objectives

  1. Bridge the gaps between systems of support.
  2. Build connection, community, continuity and contribution.
  3. Break through barriers of stigma and discrimination.
  4. Drive diversity and inclusion of people with complex mental health issues as a workplace priority.


SANE supports anyone affected by complex mental health issues, including family and friends, through a range of free services:

Information and resources – Factsheets and guides with easy-to-read information as well as personal stories of hope and recovery.  

SANE Support Services - SANE offers a range of different types and levels of support including counselling, community forums, peer support and groups.


SANE's research is conducted through the Anne Deveson Research Centre (ADRC). The Centre undertakes practical research that drives policy change to produce better social outcomes for people affected by complex mental health issues.


We are committed to amplifying the voices of people with lived experience of complex mental health issues, to support greater inclusion for people with complex mental health issues.


  1. Productivity Commission (2020) Inquiry Report: Mental Health
  2. State of Victoria, Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System, Final Report, Parl. Paper No. 202, Session 2018-21
Last updated: 23 June 2023

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