Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System early recommendations to fix a ‘broken system’

November 28, 2019

The Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System interim report draws attention to measures the commission believes require urgent attention in a ‘broken system’.

The report contains nine recommendations for immediate impact, including a new levy or tax to cover the cost of much needed reform, better support for Aboriginal Victorians and the establishment of a Mental Health Implementation Office, which the Premier said would be established before the end of this year.

VHA Chief Executive, Tom Symondson, says the VHA commends the report and its recommendations for their focus on immediate change.

‘For too long we have watched as the health sector has struggled with inadequate funding for mental health services and have witnessed mental illness related presentations to our public emergency departments soar.

‘The measures contained within the commission’s report are practical and will be impactful.’

Commission Chair Penny Armytage referred to the report as the first of two major reports by the commission and said it represents a stocktake of what the commission has learned so far.

The report focuses on future solutions rather than individual cases of treatment or made findings about the conduct of specific service providers and makes clear that the commission‘s attention will be on creating the central components of a future mental health system.

The commission received more than 10,000 submissions and heard public evidence from 96 witnesses who shared their stories of dealing with mental illness and the mental health system. The VHA’s joint submission with Mental Health Victoria to the commission makes 37 recommendations, several of which are consistent with the nine recommendations of the interim report.

The VHA’s member briefing is available here.

The interim report is available here, while the executive summary can be found here.