Establishment of the Royal Commission

Establishment of the Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System has been announced. Thank you to everyone who contributed to the development of the terms of reference.

Overview

The Victorian Government has established a Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System – the first of its kind in Australia.

Minister for Mental Health Martin Foley announced on Sunday 24 February that the Commission will be led by Penny Armytage as chairperson, supported by commissioners Professor Bernadette McSherry, Professor Allan Fels AO and Dr Alex Cockram.

Finalised with the community’s input, the Terms of Reference provide direction for the Royal Commission and set out expectations regarding its program of work. The Commission will work to deliver recommendations that improve outcomes for Victorians who experience mental illness.

The Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System will start work immediately following the Victorian Government’s announcement of the terms of reference and Commissioners.

Consultation on the Terms of Reference

During December and January, Victorians were invited to provide input on the Terms of Reference for the Royal Commission to help inform the focus areas for the inquiry. The feedback provided by the community on what is most important to them was carefully reviewed and considered by government in shaping the final terms of reference.

More than 8000 community contributions were received, demonstrating the importance of this inquiry to the Victorian community. More than 80 per cent of those who contributed said they, or someone close to them, had accessed mental health services in Victoria within the past five years.

Victorians who shared their views in the consultations see the Royal Commission as a once-in-a-generation opportunity to create a positive vision for the future of mental health services.

They asked for the Royal Commission to investigate ways to prevent mental illness and intervene earlier, to provide better access to high-quality and safe mental health services for people who need them, and to connect mental health services with other health and social services. They also recognised the importance of the Royal Commission hearing the stories of people with a lived experience of mental illness, their family members and carers.

A summary of the consultation is available for further information.

Next steps

This is just the start of the journey. There will be more opportunities to share your experience and ideas on how to improve the mental health system in Victoria as part of the Royal Commission.

In coming months, the Royal Commission is expected to release information on how the inquiry will be conducted, including how the community can contribute to the Royal Commission’s work. To receive notifications on when and how you can contribute to the Royal Commission, please enter your email in the 'Stay updated' section on this page.

The Royal Commission will provide recommendations to the Victorian Government by October 2020. The Victorian Government has already committed to implementing every recommendation from the Royal Commission.

If you or a family member has immediate concerns or requires assistance, contact beyondblue on 1300 224 636 or Lifeline on 13 11 14.


The survey for the terms of reference has now closed

Thank you to everyone who has responded to the survey and provided input to assist develop the terms of reference for the Royal Commission into Mental Health. We received responses from more than 7,000 people.

Your comments, alongside feedback from the stakeholder roundtables, is helping to shape the terms of reference for the Royal Commission.

The Victorian Government will announce the terms of reference and the names of the Commissioners for the Royal Commission in February 2019. Once established, the Royal Commission is expected to release information on how the inquiry will be conducted, including how the community can contribute to the Royal Commission’s work. The Royal Commission will provide recommendations to the Victorian Government within two years of commencement. The Victorian Government is committed to implementing every recommendation from the Royal Commission.

Overview

The Victorian Government is establishing a Royal Commission into Mental Health – the first of its kind in Australia.

We are seeking your input to develop the terms of reference for the Royal Commission into Mental Health. The terms of reference will detail the Royal Commission’s task.

The Royal Commission will be tasked with providing a comprehensive set of recommendations on how to best support Victorians with mental illness, including Victorians at risk of suicide. It will also play a major role in raising public awareness about mental health as an issue.

If you or a family member has immediate concerns or requires assistance, contact beyondblue on 1300 224 636 or Lifeline on 13 11 14.

How to share your views

Online survey

Help shape the terms of reference for the Royal Commission into Mental Health by completing the survey below by 27 January 2019. You can also upload further information to support your response.

In writing

You can also provide your views by mailing submissions by 27 January 2019 to the Mental Health Royal Commission Establishment, Department of Premier and Cabinet, 1 Treasury Place, Melbourne Victoria 3002

Please note

There will be several opportunities to share your experience and ideas on how to improve the mental health system in Victoria.

Once established, the Royal Commission is expected to release information on how the inquiry will be conducted, including how the community can contribute to the Royal Commission’s work. The Royal Commission may gather information from individuals and organisations through a variety of forums. This may include written submissions, community consultations and hearings.

Survey (now closed)

Please drag from the left column to the right column to rank in order of priority.

  1. Prevention and early intervention #
  2. Social isolation, depression, anxiety and trauma #
  3. Accessibility and navigating the mental health system #
  4. Integration between Alcohol and Other Drugs and mental health services #
  5. Community mental health services #
  6. Acute mental health services (mental health assessment and treatment both in hospital and in the community) #
  7. Forensic mental health services (mental health assessment and treatment for people in contact with the criminal justice system) #
  8. Preventing suicide #
  9. Workforce development and retention #
  10. Deliverable reform to improve outcomes for people living with a mental illness #
You have 600 characters left.
You have 600 characters left.
4. What best describes your interest in the Royal Commission into Mental Health? Required
5. Have you (or someone close to you, such as a family member) accessed mental health services in Victoria over the past five years?
6. What age bracket do you fall into? Required
8. What is your gender?
You have 50 characters left.
9. Do you identify as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander?

Upload further information

The survey form is now closed. Thanks for your contributions.

Next steps

Your feedback will be used to guide the development of the terms of reference for the Royal Commission into Mental Health.

The Victorian Government will announce the terms of reference and the names of the Commissioners for the Royal Commission into Mental Health in February 2019.

The Royal Commission into Mental Health will provide recommendations to the Victorian Government within two years of commencement. The Victorian Government is committed to implementing every recommendation from the Royal Commission into Mental Health.

Roundtables with stakeholders

The Victorian Government has also invited key mental health stakeholders to participate in targeted roundtables throughout January 2019.

These roundtables will provide an opportunity for these stakeholders to contribute to the development of the terms of reference for the Royal Commission into Mental Health.