About The College

The Australian College of Mental Health Nurses is the peak professional body for mental health nurses in Australia.  Established as a Congress in 1975, it is the only organisation that soley represents mental health nurses in the country.

We are a dynamic volunteer-based organisation, with branches and regional branches in every state and territory. In 2004, our first salaried employee came on board. Since then, the College has grown substantially in its scope and influence, and we have participated in and directed a number of major projects. 

As a professional organisation representing mental health nurses, we are constantly striving to ensure that mental health nursing is on the agenda at Local, State and National levels. We strive to engage with members and key stakeholders to advance mental health nursing across the country.

Peter Santangelo

Kim Ryan - Chief Executive Officer
Adj. Assoc. Professor

Philosophy of the ACMHN

The Australian College of Mental Health Nurses Inc. believes that mental health nursing is a unique interpersonal process, which promotes and maintains behaviours that contribute to integrated functioning for individuals and communities.

Mental health nursing is therapeutic in itself in the caring, honest and trusting relationship it conveys. Mental health nursing embodies the concept of caring by supporting clients who are unable to maintain mental, social or physical health functions for themselves and empowers the client to take an active role in self-advocacy and self-care.

Caring extends to self and peers, as an active factor in promoting mental health.


Objectives of the ACMHN

The Objectives of the Australian College of Mental Health Nurses are to:

  • Promote public confidence and professional recognition of mental health nursing
  • Set standards of practice and encourage professional accountability, autonomy and partnership
  • Participate in National Benchmarking for mental health nursing
  • Provide a forum for collegial support, networking and collaboration
  • Provide and support quality education and ongoing professional development
  • Develop and facilitate research into mental health nursing practice and health care
  • Represent the profession and provide advice to consumer and carer agencies, the government and non-government sector, community groups and the general public
  • Participate in policy development concerning the profession, health care delivery, promotion of mental health and prevention of mental illness and disability



Contacts  |  Meetings  |  Resources

Branch Contacts 

Deakin West ACT 2600


Secretary: Pat Barkway
Deputy Secretary: Sue Wardle
Education Officers: Sylvia Ebert




Meetings are held quarterly. Please contact the Secretary for dates, times and locations.

Minutes of meeting held on 28 October 2014

Minutes of meeting held on 6 February 2015 

Minutes of meeting held on 31 March 2015


SA Health - Mental Health Services