Department of Health

Recommendation 44

A new Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission

What the Royal Commission said

The Royal Commission recommends that the Victorian Government:

  1. establish an independent statutory authority, the Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission, to:
    a. hold government to account for the performance and quality and safety of the mental health and wellbeing system;
    b. support people living with mental illness or psychological distress, families, carers and supporters to lead and partner in the improvement of the system;
    c. monitor the Victorian Government's progress in implementing the Royal Commission's recommendations; and
    d. address stigma related to mental health.

  2. ensure the Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission:
    a. is led by a Chair Commissioner and who is supported by a small group of Commissioners, all of whom are appointed by the Governor-in-Council; and
    b. includes at least one Commissioner with lived experience of mental illness or psychological distress and one Commissioner with lived experience as a family member or carer.

  3. enable the Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission to:
    a. obtain data and information about mental health and wellbeing service delivery, system performance and outcomes, and other relevant information, from all government agencies;
    b. work with and share data and information with the Department of Health and other relevant entities (for example, the Collaborative Centre for Mental Health and Wellbeing and Safer Care Victoria);
    c. initiate its own inquiries into matters that support its objectives;
    d. handle and investigate complaints about mental health and wellbeing service delivery;
    e. make recommendations to the Premier, any minister and the heads of public service bodies; and
    f. publish reports on the performance and quality and safety of the mental health and wellbeing system.

What are the opportunities?

The new Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission will be established as an independent authority. It will work with new and existing agencies to play a central role in the reformed mental health and wellbeing system.

What are we doing?

We are working to establish the new Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission by the end of 2022.

Legislation to establish a new Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission has been introduced to the Victorian Parliament.

The Mental Health and Wellbeing Bill establishes the Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission as an independent statutory authority.

The new Commission will be led by a Chair Commissioner and three Commissioners. The Commissioners will include at least one person with lived experience of mental illness or psychological distress, and one family member, carer or supporter.

An Expression of Interest (EOI) process has opened to appoint the Commissioners for the Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission.

Commissioners are due to be appointed before the end of 2022. 

The Commission will be established with full powers and responsibilities when the new Mental Health and Wellbeing Act commences in 2023. At this time, the current powers of the Mental Health Complaints Commissioner will fold into the new Commission. 

Commissioners will be engaged by the Department of Health to begin planning and consultation prior to the commencement of the Act. This work includes designing the Commission’s new functions and communications and engagement processes. During this time, the intended Commissioners may not discharge any statutory functions.

Read more about the Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission.

Reviewed 12 July 2022

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