The Mental Health and Wellbeing Act 2022 has passed the Victorian Parliament. The new Act provides the legislative foundations needed to transform Victoria’s mental health system.
The Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health and Wellbeing System called for the government to repeal the current Mental Health Act 2014 and replace it with a new Mental Health and Wellbeing Act.
The new legislation will take effect by 1 September 2023. This gives the mental health sector time to prepare for changes in the Act.
Education and support will help consumers, families, carers and supporters understand their rights under the new legislation.
The Act has new rights-based objectives and principles to drive the highest possible standard of mental health and wellbeing for Victorians.
It establishes new roles and entities recommended by the Royal Commission. This includes Regional Mental Health and Wellbeing Boards, a new Chief Officer for Mental Health and Wellbeing, and a new Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission. It also creates Youth Mental Health and Wellbeing Victoria to respond to the impact of the pandemic on young Victorians.
Delivering on a key theme of the Royal Commission, the new system will be guided by people with lived experience of mental illness. Lived experience is at the centre of the new regional Mental Health and Wellbeing Boards, Youth Mental Health and Wellbeing Victoria and a new Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission.
An Independent Review of the Act’s compulsory treatment criteria and the alignment of the Act with other Victorian decision-making laws will start in October 2022.
Hon Justice Shane Marshall AM has been appointed to Chair the Independent Review panel. The review will be guided by Terms of Reference developed by consumers, families, carers, supporters, workers and service providers.
Reviewed 06 September 2022