‘Work starts now’ for mental health reform

May 28, 2020

The Minister for Mental Health, Martin Foley, opened the second Mental Health Sector Forum this morning telling a Zoom full of more than 180 leaders from Victoria’s healthcare system the “work starts now” for mental health reform.

The session provided an opportunity for the sector to get first-hand updates from the Minister and Pam Anders, CEO of Mental Health Reform Victoria about the government’s plan and support for mental health reform.

VHA Chief Executive Tom Symondson was pleased to see so many people from different parts of the sector joining the session and helping move the conversation forward.

“Today’s Mental Health Sector Forum highlights there is more we agree on as a sector than we don’t in terms of mental health, which is a strong point to build from as we implement important reforms across Victoria,” Tom Symondson said.

“I am pleased to see the discussion moving forward, and am also grateful to members of the sector for sharing their ideas and talking about the innovations that have come to light as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.”

The Minister also used his speech to praise the hard work of the sector in continuing to deliver high quality mental health services under challenging circumstances and highlighted that 10,500 video calls had been delivered during COVID-19, compared to 350 during the same period last year.

A series of breakout sessions provided an opportunity for leaders from the healthcare sector to reflect on learnings during these recent challenges, and covered areas including workforce, partnerships and governance.

The next Mental Health Sector Forum will be held in late July and focus on the lived experiences of mental health and seeking consumer input into the road to reform.

Full details of the sessions will be shared with members in the coming week.