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Victoria’s first Mental Health Complaints Commissioner officially open for business

Tuesday, 12 August 2014
Victoria’s Mental Health Complaints Commissioner was officially launched today by Minister for Mental Health Mary Wooldridge. 
 
Launching the Mental Health Complaints Commissioner and its office in Melbourne with Commissioner Lynne Coulson Barr, Ms Wooldridge said the new body is the first of its kind in Australia. 
 
“The Victorian Coalition Government has invested more than $13 million to establish the Mental Health Complaints Commissioner which provides a mechanism for Victorians to raise any concerns about public mental health services in Victoria,” Ms Wooldridge said. 
 
“The Mental Health Complaints Commissioner is a key element of the Napthine Government’s new Mental Health Act which came into effect on 1 July 2014 as a key means of improving the way we treat and care for people with severe mental illness. 
 
“Ms Coulson Barr has a deep understanding of the challenges faced by people with mental illness, their families and carers, as well as experience working with the services and peak bodies that will engage with the Mental Health Complaints Commissioner,” Ms Wooldridge said. 
 
Ms Wooldridge said the Mental Health Complaints Commissioner will assist people to speak up about their concerns, work with individuals to resolve complaints, help mental health services respond to issues and assist them in improving their services. 
 
Victorians with a mental illness, carers and families have been central in the design and development of the new Commissioner and processes for dealing with complaints. 
 
“The Mental Health Complaints Commissioner provides a new avenue by which the voices and concerns of people with a mental illness, carers and families can be heard and responded to,” Ms Wooldridge said. 
 
Ms Coulson Barr said the launch of the Mental Health Complaints Commissioner recognises the importance of safeguarding the rights, dignity and autonomy of people living with mental illness. 
 
“The Mental Health Complaints Commissioner is an independent voice working for positive change in Victoria’s mental health system and improved experiences for individuals,” Ms Coulson Barr said. 
 
Further information about the Mental Health Complaints Commissioner is available at: www.mhcc.vic.gov.au  
 
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