Department of Health

What the Royal Commission said

The Royal Commission highlighted the enormous contributions made by families, carers, kin and supporters. Their roles are crucial to both the people they support and for the functioning of the mental health system.

This recommendation aims to ensure system-wide involvement of families, carers, kin and supporters and the necessary steps to better support and recognise them

What are the opportunities?

The Royal Commission recognised that the current system does not provide adequate or holistic support to families, carers, kin and supporters.

Families, carers, kin and supporters of someone living with mental illness or psychological distress can experience distinct challenges, including:

  • high degrees of emotional support
  • managing crises
  • stigma and isolation
  • supporting care planning

needing to maintain high vigilance to prevent self-harm.

Families, carers, kin and supporters currently face a complex system, often with no clear access or help with navigation for their own support needs.

Lack of information and referral makes it difficult for carers to access support for themselves in their role of caring for loved ones.

This can lead to carer burnout, and puts families, carers, and supporters at risk of developing their own mental health challenges.

What are we doing?

Mental Health and Wellbeing Connect

In response to Recommendation 31, the Mental Health and Wellbeing Connect centres (Connect centres) have now been established across regional and metropolitan Victoria.

These family and carer-led centres have been co-designed as a lived experience-led service, representing a new and innovative approach to providing mental health and wellbeing services in Victoria.Accessing support is free of charge and there is no need for a doctor or health professional to provide a referral.

The Connect centres are focused on working with families, carers, kin and supporters of someone with mental health challenges to help identify and connect them with tailored supports to best respond to their needs.

Location and contact details for Connect centres can be found on the Better Health Channel websiteExternal Link

Statewide peer call-back service

Further support will include a new statewide peer call-back service.

This service will connect families, carers, kin and supporters of people experiencing suicidal behaviour, and people bereaved by suicide, with others who understand their experience to get advice about available resources and be heard.

Families, carers and supporters play an important role supporting people who are experiencing suicidal behaviour or following a suicide attempt. This valuable care can bring with it considerable strain and long-term stress, making it important for families, carers and supporters to also be cared for during a challenging time.

The service is currently being codesigned with consultations facilitated by Impact Co. in partnership with Tandem. Consultations will run from November 2023 to early 2024. A tender process to select a service provider to deliver the service will follow at a later stage.

While codesign is underway, Roses in the Ocean has been engaged to expand their Peer Care Companion Warmline ServiceExternal Link within Victoria on an interim basis. This interim peer call-back service launched December 2023.

Reviewed 21 March 2024

Was this page helpful?