Thousands of Victorians have had their say over what matters to them ahead of the Andrews Labor Government’s landmark Mental Health Royal Commission.
Almost 4,500 Victorians have made a submission via the Engage website, which provides a rare opportunity for Victorians who work in the sector or who have lived with a mental health illness to help shape the Terms of Reference.
The site has recorded 16,000 visitors in its first ten days, and most contributions have come from people with a mental illness or who work in the sector. More than a quarter are aged between 26 and 35, while more than three quarters are women.
More than 80 per cent have known someone to access mental health services, or accessed them themselves.
All Victorians are invited to submit their thoughts on the themes of the Royal Commission via the 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 mental health 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.
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 until January 27. 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 Acting Minister for Mental Health Jenny Mikakos
“One in five Victorians experience a mental illness every year. We know we don’t have all the answers to improve the system – and only a Royal Commission will help us do just that.”
“The Mental Health Royal Commission Terms of Reference won’t just be developed by the experts – it will be shaped by the everyday Victorians who count on the system to be the best it can be.”