Extension to mental health review provides opportunity to explore lessons from COVID-19

May 27, 2020

Today’s three-month extension to the Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System has been welcomed by the Victorian Healthcare Association as a chance to explore innovations created in response to coronavirus.

Premier Daniel Andrews and Minister for Mental Health Martin Foley announced the Royal Commission’s final report will now be delivered in early February 2021.

As well as ensuring the voices of Victorians are at the heart of the review, the extension provides an opportunity to explore issues around social isolation and loneliness, brought into sharp focus by recent measures to slow the spread of coronavirus.

“Given the serious impacts on mental health created by coronavirus and the bushfires, it has never been a more important time to invest in mental health reform, and review its delivery from all perspectives,” VHA Chief Executive Tom Symondson said.

“Health services have developed innovations in mental health across Victoria. Extending the Royal Commission allows the sector to share these insights and gain further perspectives from the Victorians they serve”.

“Through events such as our Mental Health Sector Forum, the VHA is working with healthcare organisations to understand what has changed as a result of COVID-19 and how we’re able to strengthen the system to meet the needs of all Victorians.”

The VHA has also welcomed the investment of an extra $19.5 million to deliver the recommendations of the Royal Commission’s interim report, including funding to support its dedicated workforce and the continued rollout of suicide prevention programs across the state.

If you or someone you know is in crisis or needs support call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or BeyondBlue on 1300 224 636.