The Victorian Government is developing a Framework and Blueprint for Action to improve the mental health and wellbeing of diverse communities.
The Royal Commission into Victoria's Mental Health System found that diverse communities experienced many barriers to good mental health and wellbeing, including the following:
- People can experience discrimination and stigma related to mental illness as well as their diverse backgrounds, identities and attributes
- Sometimes mental health supports are difficult to find out about or access
- Mental health services might not be safe, inclusive or responsive to the needs of people from diverse communities
- People from diverse communities can have unequal access to the things that keep them from becoming unwell in the first place.
We want to build on this knowledge by hearing from diverse communities and the organisations and services that support, represent and care for them.
We are working with people from to diverse communities to design the Framework and Blueprint, and we want to hear your ideas about what the Victorian Government can do over the coming decade to better serve diverse communities and improve their mental health and wellbeing.
Who we would we like to hear from
The Mental Health and Wellbeing Division of the Department of Health would like to hear from people from diverse communities as well as the organisations and services that represent and work with them to support and promote mental health and wellbeing.
The Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System (the Royal Commission) has defined ‘diverse communities’ in Victoria as:
- culturally and linguistically diverse communities
- LGBTIQA+ people
- people with disability.
We know that people might be part of more than one of the above communities, as well as have a range of other identities, characteristics and attributes.
You might also:
- have your own lived or living experiences of mental illness or psychological distress, either as a consumer or a family member, carer or supporter
- work with diverse communities in health, community, service or related settings.
How to take part
Related engagement activities
The Mental Health and Wellbeing Division is leading a number of reforms that will support and improve the mental health and wellbeing of diverse communities. This engagement will help develop the Diverse Communities Framework and Blueprint for Action, which focuses on culturally and linguistically diverse communities, LGBTIQA+ people and people with disability. You might be interested in some other key engagements that are currently underway.
Victorian suicide prevention and response strategy
The suicide prevention and response strategy will take a whole-of-government and community-wide approach so we can better prevent and respond to suicide and includes a focus on diverse communities.
Statewide Wellbeing Plan
The Statewide Wellbeing Plan will use a statewide approach to promote good mental health and wellbeing and prevent mental illness, including for diverse communities.
Please note that if you are part of any of these engagements and provide input relevant to one of the other reforms, we will ensure your feedback is provided to the right team so it can inform the relevant strategies.
Workforce development projects
All projects commenced in June 2023 and will be completed in June 2025.
Improving responses to people with disability
In partnership with National Disability Services, Victorian Advocacy League for Individuals with Disability (VALID) and Mental Health and Wellbeing Locals in Benalla-Wangaratta-Mansfield, Frankston and Greater Queenscliff Geelong, we are creating a new model with Locals service teams to address workforce capability gaps. This may include resources, new policies, or procedures as well as the development of communication tools for people living with intellectual disability to navigate services.
People with living and living experience, disability service providers and Local Services representatives have guided the project.
New approaches to support multicultural communities
In partnership with cohealth, cultural diversity leaders and select mental health services, we are creating a flexible model to support mental health teams and organisations to improve their cultural competency and responsiveness.
A co-design approach is central to this initiative, progressing through improvement cycles to fine-tune the most suitable model for the Victorian context, based on human rights, spiritual health and community visioning.
Making services more affirming for LGBTIQA+ communities
In partnership with Rainbow Health Australia (LaTrobe University), Mind Australia, Thorne Harbour Health and Switchboard Victoria, we are working to transform the service experience of LGBTQI+ Victorians. This project uses Rainbow Health Australia’s existing Rainbow Tick Framework, which is being adapted and piloted for mental health services.
We are working together to create a program specifically for the Victorian health system, whilst talking to communities and organisations to find out what’s missing and support organisations in gaining Rainbow Tick accreditation.
The project has been guided by mental health and wellbeing workers, including lived and living experience workers and will be evaluated by the Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society (LaTrobe University).
Reviewed 07 December 2023