The National Mental Health Commission (the Commission) has today welcomed the Final Report and its 65 recommendations from the Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System, and has acknowledged these represent significant reforms to improve the mental health and wellbeing system.
The Commission CEO Christine Morgan reflected on the courage of Victorians with a lived experience of mental ill-health coming forward with their experiences, which informed the Royal Commission’s deep understanding of the realities of the mental health system.
“All reform for mental health and suicide prevention must involve and reflect Australians lived experience of mental ill-health. From this point of view we will truly be able to achieve national systemic change,” Ms Morgan said.
The Victorian Royal Commission’s recommendations are strongly aligned to the principles in the Vision 2030 for mental health and suicide prevention. They both have an emphasis on a person-led, connected and accessible mental health and suicide prevention system that meets the needs of all Australians. In particular, it prioritises integrated multi-disciplinary community-based care that puts a person’s individual needs at the centre of its response capability, regardless of where the service is provided and by whom.
“We acknowledge and support the Royal Commission’s commitment to designing services that are safe, tailored and localised. In particular, services need to be responsive to community needs and able to intervene where people are experiencing distress, and take a social determinants approach to health and wellbeing.”
In developing the National Children’s Mental Health and Wellbeing Strategy the Commission has identified the need for a system of affordable, integrated care, delivered on the basis of need for children under the age of 12 years.
“We are pleased to see the strong recognition of children 0-12 years and recommendations that move towards a continuum of care, and describe a system that addresses the mental health needs of younger people in age specific ways,” Commission Chair Lucy Brogden AM said.
In line with the National Workplace Initiative (NWI) supported by the National Mentally Healthy Workplace Alliance, the Commission welcomes the recommendation to establishing Mentally Healthy Workplaces. The NWI aims to establish a nationally consistent approach to creating mentally healthy workplaces.
“In order to achieve consistency in approach, the NWI needs to be built on a mentally healthy workplace framework that is equally relevant to all Australian businesses, from micro businesses and gig workers through to large public service agencies and multinational corporations,” Mrs Brogden said.
A critical enabler of the success of the recommendations is the capacity and capability of Victoria’s mental health workforce. This challenge is acknowledged as a foundational issue and a key enabler in Vision 2030, and is fundamental to achieving mental health reform.