The Andrews Labor Government is inviting Victorians to provide input into the first ever Royal Commission into Mental Health, with public feedback now sought to help inform the scope of the wide-ranging inquiry.
Minister for Mental Health Martin Foley said it was important to hear what every day Victorians had to say about what topics should be covered by the Royal Commission, to ensure future changes to the mental health system directly reflect what they want and need.
Over the next month, all Victorians are invited to submit their thoughts on the themes of the Royal Commission via an online portal, with feedback to be collated and used to inform the official Terms of Reference.
Topics expected to be covered include prevention and early intervention, accessibility and navigation of the system, integration with alcohol and other drug services, and community, acute and forensic mental health.
Consultation with key stakeholders on the Terms of Reference has already started, with a series of targeted stakeholder roundtables happening over the next month.
The final Terms of Reference and Commissioners will be announced within the first 100 days of this term, before the Royal Commission commences in March 2019.
While this initial consultation will be limited to the themes to be covered by the Royal Commission’s Terms of Reference, Victorians will be also able to tell their stories and offer suggestions for change as part of the Royal Commission hearings and submission process once it is up and running.
The Royal Commission is the first of its kind in Australia and is tasked with providing a comprehensive set of recommendations on how to best reform the current mental health system and support Victorians with mental illness, including those at risk of suicide.
Consultation will run from today to 27 January. To have your say on the Terms of Reference for the Royal Commission into Mental Health visit engage.vic.gov.au.
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 Minister for Mental Health Martin Foley
“Every year, one in five Victorians experiences a mental illness and the truth is we can do more to improve the system. This is our opportunity to find out what is working, what isn’t and what we need to change.”
“This consultation is just the first step in the process. We need help from experts and everyone in the community to ensure people are at the centre of this Royal Commission.”
“I encourage anyone who has experience with mental illness or our State’s mental health system, to take this opportunity to have their say on the Terms of Reference and help us set the tone for this life-changing reform.”