Hi, I’m Gabrielle Williams, the Minister for Mental Health.
In my role I’m fortunate to oversee our government’s significant program of work to transform Victoria’s mental health and wellbeing system.
The changes underway will deliver a new system that aims to ensure that Victorians receive the care they need early, and closer to home.
From the first of September this year, Victoria will have a new Mental Health and Wellbeing Act to support this vital work. The Act was a key recommendation of the Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System.
It focuses on human rights and has new principles to guide service providers and decision-makers to support the dignity and autonomy of people living with mental illness or psychological distress.
It includes important changes for Victorians receiving mental health and wellbeing treatment and care – and their families, carers and supporters, as well as members of the workforce, service providers and other key sector stakeholders.
These changes will support a more responsive, safe, and compassionate mental health and wellbeing system for everyone.
In the lead up to the Act taking effect, there is lots of work underway to prepare the sector and the Victorian community for the changes it enshrines.
Victorians receiving mental health and wellbeing treatment and care – and their families, carers and supporters – are at the very heart of this Act.
We’re working closely with our sector partners – to make sure our new resources will help people understand, exercise and advocate for their rights and improved experiences of care.
We’re working with Victoria Legal Aid to develop a new Statements of Rights, which people will receive when admitted to any bed-based service at a designated mental health provider, and at other key points of assessment and treatment.
New in-language resources are also being created for culturally and linguistically diverse Victorians.
And we’re also establishing a new opt-out, non-legal advocacy service to make sure people who need help can understand and access their rights.
For our hard working and dedicated mental health and wellbeing workforce – we’re developing guidance, training, and resources to help you understand the changes in the new Act, and what they mean in practice.
This includes a series of e-learning training modules to introduce members of the workforce to the key changes in the Act.
To help service providers with the transition, an Act Implementation Lead will be embedded in each designated mental health service.
This person will lead implementation activities within the service and be the local contact point for staff if they have questions about the Act. These roles have been recruited and induction is underway.
We’re also in the process of designing an online ‘helpdesk’ to manage enquiries about the new Act. We’ll keep you up to date, as we, and our sector partners, roll out training and publish new resources and tools.
I look forward to sharing further updates as our work progresses. And of course, you can also visit our website, which is being updated regularly to ensure up to date information and resources are available to you.
Thank you for working with us in partnership to achieve transformation of the mental health and wellbeing system as we move to establish the vision of the Royal Commission.
Reviewed 26 May 2023