The Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System recommended a series of critical reforms to strengthen system leadership, governance and accountability.
These changes are necessary to realise the Royal Commission’s vision for a redesigned mental health and wellbeing system.
Progress on reforms include:
: effective leadership of and accountability for the mental health and wellbeing system
Part of this recommendation includes the transfer of the functions of Mental Health Reform Victoria (MHRV) to the new Mental Health and Wellbeing Division in the Department of Health. This reform was completed on 26 July 2021. The Victorian Government established MHRV in 2020 to start early reform implementation in response to the Royal Commission’s interim report recommendation 9.
Recommendation 45 also called for the Mental Health and Wellbeing Division to employ people with lived experience of mental illness or psychological distress and people with lived experience of caring for someone living with mental illness in multiple, substantive positions, including leadership positions. As part of the transition and restructure of the Division, specific roles have been created for people with lived experience.
: Facilitating government wide efforts
This recommendation called for new governance structures to oversee the implementation of the Royal Commission’s reforms. This includes a range of government and community-wide committees and advisory groups. One of the main priorities was to establish a Mental Health and Wellbeing Cabinet Subcommittee to be chaired by the Premier for at least two years. This Cabinet Subcommittee was established in July 2021.
: a new Mental Health and Wellbeing Act
Many of the new bodies and roles referred to in other recommendations will be established by the new Mental Health and Wellbeing Act, due to be enacted no later than mid-2022. It includes the Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission, the Chief Officer for Mental Health and Wellbeing, and Regional Mental Health and Wellbeing Boards.
The new Mental Health and Wellbeing Act will lay the legal foundations to rebuild the mental health and wellbeing system. Members of the community recently had an opportunity to have their say on proposals within the new Act through the Victorian Government’s Engage Victoria platform.
Reviewed 24 March 2022