The Commission has a vision of a balanced system with more services delivered in community settings, extending beyond a health response to a more holistic approach to good mental health and wellbeing.
74 recommendations have been made and the Victorian Government has committed to implementing all of them. The major reform areas are grouped around four key features:
A responsive and integrated system with community at its heart where people access treatment, care and support close to their homes and their communities.
- Rigid catchments, where people can only receive specialist services based on where they live, will be dismantled.
- Services will be delivered based on a philosophy of ‘how can we help?’ to enable people to be supported from their first to their last contact.
- Tertiary-level (hospital) high-intensity and complex support responses will utilise multidisciplinary teams, responding to crisis calls 24/7 and offering an alternative to police and ambulance callouts and visits to emergency departments.
- Multidisciplinary care for bed-based services will be delivered in a range of settings, including a person’s home and fit-for-purpose community and hospital environments.
- The role of families, carers and supports will be recognised as central with the establishment of family- and carer-led centres.
- A statewide trauma centre will deliver best possible mental health outcomes for people who have experienced trauma.
- A statewide service for people living with mental illness and substance use or addiction will be established to provide integrated treatment, care and support.
A system attuned to promoting inclusion and addressing inequities so that all Victorians may enjoy optimal mental health and wellbeing.
- Investment in the leadership, coordination and delivery of a statewide approach to prevention and promotion activities.
- Partnerships with Victoria’s diverse communities to set new expectations of services.
- ‘Community collectives’ will bring together community leaders and members to promote social connection and inclusion.
- More mental health workers in rural and regional communities.
- Anti-stigma programs developed, implemented and evaluated.
- Improved access to legal protection from mental health discrimination.
Re-established confidence through prioritisation and collaboration across governments and communities, and ensuring people with lived experience are leading reform efforts.
- An independent and statutory Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission which will include Commissioners with lived experience and a Mental Health and Wellbeing Division within the Department of Health.
- Services will be commissioned in new ways to respond to the preferences and expectations of people living with mental illness, families, carers and supporters.
- A new Suicide Prevention and Response Office.
- The Commission’s reimagined mental health and wellbeing system will be enshrined in a new legislation – a Mental Health and Wellbeing Act.
Contemporary and adaptable services that respond to changing expectations, trends and emerging challenges.
- Workforce reforms to build a workforce that is diverse, large enough and with the right skills and experience.
- Changes and shifts to practices and cultures, ensuring consumers human rights are upheld.
- A new approach to information management to help collect, use and share information effectively, safely and efficiently.
- Innovation in treatment, care and support through a dedicated mental health and wellbeing innovation fund, and with a strong focus on translational research.
- All new programs will need to agree to evaluation as part of funding arrangements.
This is a comprehensive program of reform with new, well-funded governance bodies to ensure that the reform is enacted and that the results are satisfactory. If we do this, Victoria will be a world leader, and our most vulnerable Victorians will reap the benefits.
To learn more and read the Final Report visit https://rcvmhs.vic.gov.au/.