Skip to content

Highly respected industry leader joins the National Mental Health Commission

Highly respected industry leader joins the National Mental Health Commission

The National Mental Health Commission is pleased to announce the appointment of mental health sector leader, Dr Michelle Blanchard.

Dr Blanchard has joined the Commission in the role of Special Adviser leading the development of the National Stigma and Discrimination Reduction Strategy, a key recommendation of the Productivity Commission in to mental health announced by Government in December 2020.

“The Commission is incredibly fortunate to have Michelle come on board. She joins us at a time when we are working towards systemic mental health reform,” Commission CEO Christine Morgan said.

Michelle Blanchard

“The National Stigma and Discrimination Reduction Strategy is a significant piece of work for enabling national mental health and suicide prevention reform, and to have someone of Michelle’s experience guiding its development is invaluable.”

Prior to joining the Commission, Dr Blanchard was Deputy CEO at SANE Australia and the founding Director of SANE’s Anne Deveson Research Centre, which partners with people affected by mental illness, trauma and distress to catalyse social change.

Dr Blanchard is also an Honorary Senior Fellow at the Melbourne School of Psychological Sciences at the University of Melbourne, and previously held senior roles at the Butterfly Foundation for Eating Disorders and the Young and Well Cooperative Research Centre.

“It’s a privilege to join the Commission, particularly on a piece of work as important as the National Stigma and Discrimination Reduction Strategy,” Blanchard said.

“People with lived and living experience of mental ill-health, mental illness and distress have told us time and time again that stigma and discrimination impact all facets of their lives.”

“It’s time to change this, and knowing the Commission’s commitment to doing so, I’m confident we will.”

Commission Chair Lucy Brogden AM welcomed Dr Blanchard’s appointment and said, “We are pleased to have Michelle join the Commission to lead this work.”

“Michelle’s appointment recognises her long connection with the sector, her strong skills and her deep understanding of the issues.”

Aboriginal flag Torres Strait Islander flag

Acknowledgement of Country

The Commission acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands throughout Australia.
We pay our respects to their clans, and to the elders, past present and emerging, and acknowledge their continuing connection to land, sea and community.


The Commission is committed to embracing diversity and eliminating all forms of discrimination in the provision of health services. The Commission welcomes all people irrespective of ethnicity, lifestyle choice, faith, sexual orientation and gender identity.

Lived Experience

We acknowledge the individual and collective contributions of those with a lived and living experience of mental ill-health and suicide, and those who love, have loved and care for them. Each person’s journey is unique and a valued contribution to Australia’s commitment to mental health suicide prevention systems reform.