Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System releases interim report
- The Royal Commission into Victoria's Mental Health System interim report was released on 28 November 2019.
- The report estimates the cost of mental ill health to the Victorian economy at $14.2 billion a year.
- It is hoped that the final report will make recommendations to address the housing needs of people with mental ill health.
- NDS hopes to see further emphasis in the final report on training and development to support a dual disability workforce.
NDS welcomes the release of the interim report of the Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System. The report draws attention to the state of mental health services in Victoria - a major issue for NDS members and the wider community - and estimates the cost of mental ill health to the Victorian economy at $14.2 billion a year.
The report’s priority recommendations include:
- Creation of new residential mental health services as an alternative to acute admission, designed and delivered by people with lived experience
- Major expansion of the lived experience workforce for consumers and carers
- A new approach to mental health investment (a tax or levy) to ensure a substantial increase in funding for mental health
- A strong focus on the mental health needs of Aboriginal Victorians, including the establishment of an Aboriginal Social and Emotional Wellbeing Centre and expanded social and emotional wellbeing teams
- Targeted increase of 170 youth and acute care mental health beds
- Building the mental health workforce and creating leaders, including the provision of more training and recruitment pathways in public mental health services
- Establishment of the Victorian Collaborative Centre for Mental Health and Wellbeing to bring together expertise in lived experience, research and clinical and non-clinical care
NDS welcomes many of the report’s findings and recommendations and notes the acknowledgement of the lack of accessible mental health services for people living with disability, and the needs of people living with dual disability. While there are no immediate recommendations in the interim report to address the impact of systemic failures on people living with dual disability, it is hoped that the final report will address this area specifically.
Similarly, it is hoped that the final report will also make recommendations to address the housing needs of people with mental ill health. Many NDS members report experiences that back Launch Housing CEO Bevan Warner’s comments that “evidence has shown time and time again that unless a person has secure housing, mental health programs will be largely ineffective. People need a stable place to recover.” The report does acknowledge the interplay between mental ill health and access to secure housing – and the need for better coordination between housing and mental health services – and states that the “intersection between the mental health system and related service systems will… be the subject of further deliberation by the Commission.”
NDS also hopes to see further emphasis in the final report on training and development to support a dual disability workforce. This was a critical priority highlighted in NDS’s submission to the Royal Commission. [PDF | Word]
The Victorian government has committed to implementing all the recommendations of the Royal Commission. The Royal Commission also called for a Mental Health Implementation Office to be established to ensure all the recommendations are delivered.
The interim report is available on the Royal Commission website. If you have any feedback on the recommendations, please contact Anthea Gellie at .