Building Our Mental Health System From The Ground Up

28 November 2019

The Andrews Labor Government will accept each and every recommendation handed down by the Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System, as part of its interim report.

Premier Daniel Andrews and Minister for Mental Health Martin Foley visited the Sebastopol Men’s Shed today and met with local ‘shedders’ who have turned to the Men’s Shed to improve their health, wellbeing and sense of purpose.

The Royal Commission has found too many Victorians needing help can’t find suitable support, while those who do access ‘the system’ find it hard to negotiate their way through it. People living with mental illness are waiting longer and getting sicker before they can access services. Poor mental health costs Victoria $14.2 billion annually.

The Commission also found that the rate of suicide among men aged 35–54 years who lived in rural and regional communities was around 60 per cent higher than those living in Melbourne.

The Royal Commission recommends:

  • Expanding the Hospital Outreach Post-suicidal Engagement (HOPE) program currently servicing Geelong, Wangaratta, Latrobe Valley, Ballarat and Bendigo to also include Goulburn Valley, Mildura and Warrnambool
  • Better access to HOPE for Victorians in regional and rural areas by establishing extra clinical outreach services
  • More acute beds
  • Workforce development to address the workforce challenges that are even more pronounced in regional and rural Victoria. The recommendation includes additional graduate placements, scholarships, supporting international recruitment and adding Certificate IV in Mental Health to the Free TAFE list
  • The state-wide rollout of Aboriginal health and wellbeing teams

The Royal Commission also recommends a revenue mechanism to support the major mental health reform.

Men’s Sheds play a powerful role when it comes to the mental health of men. That’s why the Labor Government is backing organisations right across the state, with nearly $900,000 for eight new sheds and 15 shed refurbishments around Victoria.

The Commission will hold further public hearings in 2020 before delivering its final report in October. If you or someone you know is in crisis or needs support call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or BeyondBlue on 1300 224 636.

Quotes attributable to Premier Daniel Andrews

“For far too long, mental health hasn’t received the attention it deserves, particularly in our regional communities. But as a government and as a state, we’re going to get serious about this issue – and it’s going to save lives.”

“Building a quality mental health system from the ground-up won’t be easy and it won’t be quick. But when the cost of not acting is measured in lives, we can't afford to fail.”

Quote attributable to Minister for Mental Health Martin Foley

“Whether we’ve experienced it ourselves or watched a loved one suffer – every Victorian has felt the impacts of mental health. As a community, a state and a government, we need to work together to fix the system.”

Quote attributable to Minister for Disability, Ageing and Carers Luke Donnellan

“Men’s sheds play a vital role in local communities as safe, friendly and inclusive spaces where people can learn new skills, catch up with mates and forge strong ties with others.”

Quote attributable to Member for Buninyong Michaela Settle

“The Sebastopol Men’s Shed plays a critical role safeguarding the mental health and wellbeing of local men. We’re so proud of the work they do and we’re proud to help them do that work.”

Quote attributable to Member for Wendouree Juliana Addison

“Everyone deserves to know they'll be able to get the mental health support they need, when they need it. We're making sure of that in Ballarat, and for all Victorians."

Reviewed 19 August 2020

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