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Mental Health

24-hour Mental Health | telephone access service in life-threatening situations call 000 for immediate help

HNE Mental Health delivers services across the Hunter New England Health district.

Around 1600 mental health staff members deliver comprehensive and specialist mental health services. We are committed to serving mental health consumers and carers, to providing training and education and to running an active research and evaluation program.

Mental Health services provide a range of inpatient services and community mental health care, from prevention and early intervention to treatment, rehabilitation and continuing care.

The focus of these services is to provide timely and effective care and to empower consumers to become resilient, independent and to self-manage their illness and recovery.

Our services are organised by geography and cover all age groups including child and adolescent, adult and older people.

Specialist services include:

  • Mental health and substance use
  • Psychiatric rehabilitation
  • Neuropsychiatry
  • Consultation liaison psychiatry
  • Centre for Psychotherapy
  • Forensic services

Support services include:

  • Clinical and corporate support
  • Aboriginal, multicultural and consumer liaison
  • Partnerships and performance
  • Education and research

Strategic Directions and Organisational Structure

The strategic direction of HNE Health mental health services is outlined in the following documents:

  1. We will be guided by what consumers and carers need.
  2. Understand each person has unique needs, desires and expectations.
  3. Treat everyone with respect, professionalism, care and compassion and expect to be treated the same.
  4. Acknowledge and support carers, family and friends in looking after their loved ones, to the extent they can.
  5. Facilitate access to appropriate information and resources to enable people to make their own decisions.
  6. Communicate our recommendations for care and treatment clearly and fully.
  7. Deliver care that is meaningful and stop doing things that do not work for people.
  8. Encourage people to `Take Charge' and enable them to self manage and achieve recovery.
  9. Advocate for a system that looks after needs of all concerned.
  10. Work together to develop a system that is responsive and meets needs and expectation of our community

We also subscribe to the NSW Carers Charter - Our commitment to engage with carers

Our charter HNE Mental Health Strategic Plan 2019-2021

Organisational structure

HNE Health provides public mental health services to the community of the Hunter New England region. The Mental Health executive team consists of a Director, General Manager, Directors of Nursing Services and Allied Health, and Executive Leaders of Medical Services; Business Development and Performance; Quality Assurance, Audit risk and Compliance; Innovation, Partnership and Engagement; and Workforce, People and Culture. Clinical Services are led by Clinical/Service Directors and supported by Service Managers.

Please note: you can download an organisational chart here.

Fundraising and Volunteering

Our HNE Mental Health Volunteer and Fundraising Service aids both staff and consumers, providing support and resources to for consumers during their journey and recovery process and providing staff with assistance.


Could you see yourself:

  • Being involved in activity programs with consumers, such as arts and crafts, games, cooking, music, library, gardening or sport?
  • Providing support and companionship to consumers?
  • Raising valuable funds to support caring for our consumers, such as being part of our Corner Store sales team, or making items for sale?
  • Joining in community events to raise awareness for mental health?
  • Providing administration support?

Volunteers not only support our staff and consumers for a range of activities and responsibilities, but also benefit from the service themselves by:

  • Helping us build a strong and resilient community
  • Investing their time with meaning and purpose and improving their own wellbeing
  • Improving their perception of mental illness and helping break down stigma
  • Developing communication skills and confidence
  • Gaining experience in a mental health service, including networking with professional staff

Who can volunteer with HNE Mental Health?

Whether you are a university or TAFE student, retired, working or non-working or have lived experience of mental illness, we welcome volunteers from all backgrounds and various life stages.

Your interests, knowledge and skills are valuable and can be utilised across the service. We have a wide range of opportunities across the District in various locations, ranging from direct consumer/patient contact to working exclusively with staff. Volunteering is all about choice.

What is expected of volunteers in HNE Mental Health?

HNE Mental Health volunteers are reliable and share our values of collaboration, openness, respect, and empowerment. We also require volunteers to be able to commit to our volunteer service for a minimum of 1-2 hours per week or fortnight over a minimum period of three months.

Mandatory checks are required, including a National Criminal Record Check and, depending on where you may volunteer, a Working with Children Check or Aged Care Check.

Mandatory training is compulsory. We have a responsibility to keep you safe, and so attendance and completion of this training is essential.

A clearance from our staff health nurse is necessary. This may involve completing a form or attending a free appointment.

How do I become a volunteer with HNE Mental Health?

To find out more about how we can work together, contact our Fundraising and Volunteer Manager for a confidential chat and request an application pack. Phone: 4033 5134 | Email: elizabeth.bosworth@hnehealth.nsw.gov.au


Want to fundraise on behalf of HNE Mental Health?

HNE Mental Health welcomes staff members and community members who wish to fundraise on our behalf. However, Fundraising activities must adhere to the NSW Health Fundraising and Sponsorship Guidelines. Please seek advice from both the HNE Mental Health Fundraising & Volunteer Manager [Phone (02) 4033 5134] and the HNELHD Communication Unit [phone (02) 4985 5522]. If a department or unit is approached by an individual or organisation within the community who wishes to fundraise on their behalf, they will also need to seek advice.


Donations can be made to Mental Health services via this link

Research, Translation and Evaluation

Local Mental Health groups

Other groups

Preventing Seclusion and Restraint

The NSW Government has released Mental Health Safety and Quality in NSW: An implementation plan to prevent seclusion and restraint.

Hunter New England Local Health District is committed to preventing the use of seclusion and restraint and welcomes consumer, carer and family involvement. To become a partner in this work, please contact Marcia Fogarty Telephone: 4033 5169.