Department of Health

Recommendation 34

Working in partnership with and improving accessibility for diverse communities

What the Royal Commission said

The Royal Commission called for a mental health and wellbeing system that is safe, responsive and inclusive. One that will meet the needs of Victoria’s diverse population both now and into the future.

The Royal Commission recognised that this would be a whole-of-system effort. Coordination of funding, commissioning, design and delivery of services would be critical. Diversity would need to be reflected in the system's governance, leadership and workforce.

What are the opportunities?

To achieve this vision, we need to understand the unique needs of Victoria’s diverse communities. These include:

  • LGBTIQ+ Victorians 
  • Victorians from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds 
  • Victorians with disability.

We recognise that these communities are diverse themselves. This means we need to hear a broad range of perspectives. We also recognise that there are a range of factors that can impact individuals’ experiences. These may include their gender identity, age and visa status. We will need to keep this in mind as we respond to diversity.

We need to continue to work with community leaders, advocates, groups and organisations throughout the reform process. This includes planning, implementing and managing the reformed mental health and wellbeing system.

What are we doing?

We are investing in community-led organisations through our grants program, so they can support the mental health and wellbeing of culturally and linguistically diverse communities, LGBTIQ+ people and people with disability. The next round of grants will be open in mid-2023. Find out more about the grants program, including current grant recipients.

We have established a Diverse Communities’ Working Group. The Working Group advises on the mental health and wellbeing needs of diverse communities and how best to respond to these needs.

We are developing a Diverse Communities Mental Health and Wellbeing Framework and Blueprint guided by the Working Group and feedback from people from diverse communities. This will outline the actions we will take to build a more inclusive system and society. A total of 16 public consultations were held with members of diverse communities, and the organisations and services that support them, to contribute to the development of the Framework and Blueprint.

We have funded Switchboard's Rainbow Door service. Rainbow Door is a specialist helpline that provides LGBTIQ+ people with information, advice and referrals, supporting people of all ages and identities through peer support. Find out more about Rainbow Door on Switchboard's website.

We have extended funding for the Healthy Equal Youth (HEY) project. HEY brings together a network of partner organisations specialising in support and services for LGBTIQ+ young people. Visit the HEY webpage for more information.

We are partnering with community organisations and peak bodies to support their communities to engage with the reforms.. This will ensure communities can play an active role in designing and delivering the new mental health and well-being system.

We are improving our data recording and collection system. This will allow us to better record and understand the experiences of diverse communities.

Reviewed 05 December 2022

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