New Mental Health And Wellbeing Bill Passes Parliament

31 August 2022

The Andrews Labor Government’s new Mental Health and Wellbeing Billhas passed parliament, marking a historic milestone in our work to build a mental health system that delivers tailored care to all Victorians, close to home.

The Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health and Wellbeing System recommended the Labor Government replace the former Mental Health Act 2014 with a new Mental Health and Wellbeing Act that serves as the foundation for a world-class mental health and wellbeing system.

The new Act will support a transformed mental health system that is integrated, contemporary and adaptable, and places lived experience at its heart. It also underpins the expansion of the mental health workforce – supporting the dedicated professionals who support Victorians every day.

It ensures people seeking care are involved in decisions about their treatment and support, as well as incorporating a statement of recognition and acknowledgement of treaty process.

Delivering on a key theme of the Royal Commission, the new system will be guided by people with lived experience of mental illness, with lived experience at the centre of the new regional Mental Health and Wellbeing Boards, Youth Mental Health and Wellbeing Victoria and the new Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission.

A further review of the new Mental Health and Wellbeing Act will take place in five to seven years, ensuring the new system is supporting Victorians as best it can.

The next important stage of reform is now set to begin with the Independent Review of compulsory mental health treatment criteria – led by Justice Shane Marshall AM.

The review will also investigate how mental health decision-making laws in Victoria can be aligned with other decision-making legislation. The Review panel will work to terms of reference developed by a group of consumers, families, carers and the mental health workforce.

The Victorian Budget 2022/23 invested $1.3 billion in mental health and wellbeing - building on last year’s record $3.8 billion investment – with work underway on 90 per cent of the Royal Commission’s recommendations. This includes $29.3 million for dedicated resources to support implementation of the new legislation.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Mental Health Gabrielle Williams

I’m so proud to announce the Mental Health and Wellbeing Bill has passed – this historic milestone will make a profound change to the way we support Victorians for generations to come.

“This new Act will transform the way we deliver treatment, care and support for Victorians with mental illness as we build a new more responsive and compassionate mental health system.”

Reviewed 30 August 2022

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