Implementing Practical Recommendations of
the Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System (2021) into Australian Society
Australia is in the midst of a mental health crisis, with suicide rates at an all-time high. In response, the Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System was established to investigate deficiencies in the state’s mental health system and the broader prevalence of mental illnesses and suicides. On 3 February 2021, the Commission delivered its final report with 65 recommendations that set out a 10-year vision for a future mental health system in Victoria where people can access treatment close to their homes and communities.
The Commission’s report outlined several key recommendations to improve access to mental health services across the state. These included increasing funding for community-based services like early intervention programs, expanding primary care services like GPs, psychologists, and psychiatrists, and investing in digital technologies like telehealth. The report also called for greater collaboration between public mental health services and private care providers and increased investment in preventative measures such as workplace wellness initiatives.
Notably, the report highlighted the importance of involving people with lived experiences of mental illness or psychological distress in designing and delivering this new mental health system. This includes establishing consumer advisory committees at a local and state level comprising individuals with direct experience in using or providing support services within the sector. This is an essential step towards ensuring that those who understand best what it is like to live with a mental illness are involved in shaping our collective response to this issue.
Why We Need To Follow Victoria’s Lead
Although providing an example of a comprehensive blueprint utilising a cross-section of stakeholders from within the Australian community, unfortunately, this approach has not been replicated nationally — leaving vast gaps remaining in our country's mental health service provision ignored by governments around Australia. It is, therefore essential that we follow Victoria’s lead and implement similar strategies on a larger scale if we hope to create an effective nationwide solution to this growing problem.
Investing in better access to community-based care, improved primary care services, digital technologies like telehealth, and preventative measures such as workplace wellness initiatives are some ways we can begin addressing Australia’s current mental health crisis. Governments must now act on implementing these recommendations so that people around Australia can receive adequate support when they need it most. It is also vital that individuals with direct experience of using or providing support services within the sector be actively involved in designing our collective response — so let us work together towards creating an effective nationwide solution for all Australians with a mental illness or psychological distress today.
Newosis is ready to step into the areas that need such gaps and recommendations to be fulfilled. Being a “lived experience” organisation, we are best equipped to deal with the thrust that came from within the Commission’s recommendations, which were to place the person seeking help in the centre of matters, and that includes what they believe, how they believe, what they want, and how they want it. It is called “autonomy” and every mental health (and neurological) consumer has a right to be understood, heard, valued, and listened to. But even more importantly, everyone deserves equal access to equal high-standard Australian healthcare wherever and whenever needed.
Newosis aims to create projects to further the Commission’s recommendations until such time that benchmark is consistently exceeded nationally.
This "overall campaign” essentially dovetails throughout our entire set of purposes, mission and individual campaigns referred to throughout the website.