Mental health programs in Australia are influenced greatly by the country's system of government and by its geography. in Australia, mental health is looked upon as part of the total health services ofeach state. This has forced the community-based mental health services to be more closely related to public health programs than is true in most of the United States. Australia's parliamentary civil service system provides greater stability to the planning and administration of health services, while her relatively homogeneous and less mobile urban populations have allowed state hospitals to move toward the functional division of patients. After providing a brief history and description of Australia's mental health system, the author discusses hospital programs for the chronic mentally ill; residential rehabilitation programs, which, like vocational rehabilitation programs, are provided through many voluntary organizations; the financial support provided to the mentally disabled by the Department of Social Security; and mental advocasy groups, which are noteworthy because they work more cooperatively together and with the professional community than do similar American groups.