Department of Health

Marking one year of Victoria’s mental health and wellbeing reform journey

Penny Armytage AM makes an address at the Royal Exhibition Building
Special sitting at the Royal Exhibition Building for the presentation of the Royal Commission into Victoria‘s Mental Health System final report - Address by Penny Armytage AM, Photography: Janusz Molinski

Twelve months ago, the Victorian Government tabled the final report from the Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System.

The Commission’s 9 interim and 65 final recommendations set out an ambitious 10-year plan to transform Victoria’s mental health and wellbeing system.

These reforms aim to redesign Victoria’s mental health and wellbeing system so that it is structured around a community-based model of care, where people can access treatment, care and support close to their homes and support networks.

Importantly, people with lived experience of mental illness or psychological distress are central to the design and delivery of the new mental health and wellbeing system.

At this early stage of the ten-year reform journey, the Victorian Government has already commenced work on 85% of the Royal Commission’s recommendations.

Some of the key achievements from the past 12 months include:

  • Releasing the Mental health and wellbeing workforce strategy to set out the steps needed for attracting, recruiting, upskilling and retaining our vital mental health and AOD workforces. This includes investing in more than 1000 new positions across the sector.
  • Determining the first 27 of 60 locations for the new Local Adult and Older Adult Mental Health and Wellbeing Services. These community-based services will act as a ‘front door’ to the mental health and wellbeing system - providing early intervention supports for adults and older adults who are experiencing mental illness or psychological distress.
  • Hundreds of Victorians providing feedback on draft policy proposals to inform the new Mental Health and Wellbeing Act. The new act will establish the legal framework for a redesigned mental health and wellbeing system.
  • Providing the largest ever investment in the lived experience workforce, and appointed Victoria’s first Executive Director of Lived Experience, Mary O’Hagan. Building and enhancing the skills of our lived experience workforce means that the right people are at the heart of our system – who can use personal insight to deliver better programs and outcomes for Victorians.
  • Completing the statewide expansion of the Hospital Outreach Post-suicidal Engagement (HOPE) service from 12 to 21 Victorian Locations – to provide vital follow-up and aftercare support to people following a suicide attempt.
  • Progressing work to deliver 144 new acute public mental health beds across the state, as well as 82 new forensic mental health beds at Thomas Embling Hospital.

Thank you to every individual, organisation and service that has contributed to this critical reform journey so far - particularly people with lived experience, their families, carers and supporters and those from the mental health workforce.

Further information can be found on the Mental Health Reform page.


Reviewed 03 March 2022

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