Update as of 22 June 2021:

The timeline for public engagement on the new Mental Health and Wellbeing Act has been extended to 11.59pm on 1 August 2021.


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 replaces 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 Mental health reform website.

Update and Engagement Paper

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.

There are four key sections in the paper:

  • the objectives and principles of the new Act
  • non-legal advocacy, supported decision-making and information sharing
  • compulsory treatment and assessment, seclusion and restraint
  • governance and oversight in the new Act.

Each of these sections includes:

  • the recommendations of the Royal Commission on that topic
  • the department’s proposals to meet the Royal Commission’s recommendations, highlighting what will be different
  • points of feedback about possible ways to improve the proposals.

Following the summary and next steps, for reference, is a glossary of terms used in the paper.

Translated paper (18 languages)

Contribute to the development of the new Act

The Department of Health welcomes contributions on the questions outlined in the paper. Anyone can make a submission. This includes people with lived experience as consumers, carers, and family members, service providers, advocates, and other relevant stakeholders.

By providing feedback, you will help inform the development of the new Mental Health and Wellbeing Act.

How to participate

The Department of Health invites written submissions on the topics and themes raised in the Update and Engagement paper.

You may elect to only respond to the questions of most interest to you or your organisation.

You have until 11:59pm 1st August 2021 to make a submission.

If you have any difficulty lodging your submission or would like to provide a submission via an alternative method, please contact mhwa@health.vic.gov.au