In March 2021, the Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System released its final report. The report contains 65 recommendations, set over a 10-year reform vision, in addition to nine recommendations from the Royal Commission’s interim report. The Victorian Government has committed to implementing these recommendations in full.

Thousands of Victorians contributed to the Royal Commission’s once-in-a-generation report. It is through the stories so generously shared that the Royal Commission was able to understand how to strengthen and transform Victoria’s mental health system.

The Royal Commission recommended that the Victorian Government replace the current Mental Health Act 2014 with a new Mental Health and Wellbeing Act, giving clear direction about many aspects of the new Act. To meet the Royal Commission’s recommendations, the new Act will be in place by mid-2022.

The Department of Health is developing the new Act as the lead agency responsible for mental health legislation in Victoria. As described by the Royal Commission, the new Act will establish critical foundations for a redesigned mental health and wellbeing system. This includes people with lived experience in system leadership, as well as the entities needed to enable strong system accountability and transparency.

The new Act is just one part of the work to deliver on the Royal Commission’s recommendations. Further information on implementation of the Royal Commission’s recommendations is available on the department's website.

What we heard

In December 2021, the department released Mental Health and Wellbeing Act: What we heard. This report provides an overview of feedback received on policy proposals in the Mental Health and Wellbeing Act: Update and Engagement paper (June 2021). The What we heard report outlines:

  • how people engaged with the process
  • what we heard through the engagement process
  • what we are doing with what we heard
  • the next steps for developing the new Act.

Through the engagement process, feedback on the policy proposals was received from: consumers of mental health and wellbeing services; carers, family members and supporters; workers; service providers; peak bodies representing consumers; peak bodies representing carers, families or supporters; peak bodies representing the sector; academics; legal providers; and statutory entities.

We are very grateful for all the input, insightful comments and suggestions we received consumers, families, carers, supporters, workers and providers of mental health and wellbeing services.

The breadth of feedback shows how passionate people are about helping to redesign the mental health and wellbeing system in Victoria. Thank you.

Download the Mental Health and Wellbeing Act: what we heard report to read more.

Translations (18 languages)

Additional information: Update and Engagement Paper (June 2021)

The Mental Health and Wellbeing Act: Update and Engagement paper was available for public feedback from 15 June – 1 August 2021. The paper describes the development of the new Act and proposals on policy issues that require more input to make sure they meet the Royal Commission’s recommendations.