Department of Health

Recommendation 23

Establishing a new Statewide Trauma Service

What the Royal Commission said

The Royal Commission recommended the Victorian Government establish a Statewide Trauma Service. This will deliver the best possible mental health and wellbeing outcomes for people with lived experience of trauma.

The new Mental Health Statewide Trauma Service will:

  • conduct trauma research
  • support the mental health and wellbeing workforce to provide trauma-informed care
  • create a digital peer-led support platform
  • coordinate and facilitate access to trauma experts.

The Royal Commission recommended the Mental Health Statewide Trauma Service be established by the end of 2022. The service will be part of the new Collaborative Centre for Mental Health and Wellbeing.

What are the opportunities?

The Royal Commission said many mental health consumers experience trauma. It found the current system does not meet the mental health and recovery needs of consumers affected by trauma.

There is not enough early support for people affected by trauma. Instead, the focus is on helping people who are at crisis point. For some consumers, contact with the current mental health system has worsened the impacts of trauma.

The new Mental Health Statewide Trauma Service will provide early support to people experiencing trauma.

Trauma-informed services foster a sense of safety and trust and recognise the importance of personal relationships. This will be a focus of the new system.

What are we doing?

The Victorian Government appointed a consortium in October 2022 to design and deliver the new Mental Health Statewide Trauma Service.

The consortium led by Phoenix Australia includes 13 partners with expertise relevant to trauma informed care.

The department will work with the consortium to develop the foundations of the service, including a workplan to co-design the research, capability uplift, and service delivery functions of the new service.

Read more about the consortium.

Dedicated research

The Mental Health Statewide Trauma Service will help people learn more about trauma-informed care and practice. It will conduct research that has an immediate impact on the improvement of services. This will include research from many disciplines.

Specialist Trauma Practitioners

The new Mental Health Statewide Trauma Service will train a multidisciplinary workforce of specialist trauma practitioners. They will:

  • work alongside peer support workers in area mental health and wellbeing services
  • assist consumers to develop a recovery plan and provide therapeutic and holistic care
  • help other mental health and wellbeing practitioners better understand trauma-informed care.

Read more on the Recommendation 24 page.

Education, training and professional development

The Mental Health Statewide Trauma Service will develop education and training programs. These programs will help the mental health workforce recognise and respond to trauma.

Peer support workers will be supported by these training and education programs.

Please note: Through the development of the Statewide Trauma Service, including consultations, drafting of the Call for Submission and communications, the department has chosen to remain consistent with the Royal Commission's final report when referring to the Statewide Trauma Service.

The Statewide Trauma Service will be renamed following the formal appointment of a provider consortium. This will avoid confusion with the Victorian State Trauma System which was established in 2000 and facilitates the management and treatment of major trauma injuries.

Reviewed 10 November 2022

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