Victorian Government facing pressure from mental health coalition to roll out key recommendations

Posted 4 months ago by David McManus
15 community and mental health organisations have called on the Victorian Government to enact key recommendations from the Royal Commission. [Source: Shutterstock]
15 community and mental health organisations have called on the Victorian Government to enact key recommendations from the Royal Commission. [Source: Shutterstock]

Victorian leaders have been asked to provide a timeline for the ‘critical’ reform.

Key points:

  • The Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System delivered 65 key recommendations
  • Victoria is missing its Consumer Leadership Agency, as per recommendation 29 of the Mental Health Royal Commission
  • The recommendations set out a 10-year vision for a future mental health system


The Victorian Mental Illness Awareness Council is leading a group of 15 community sector peaks and mental health organisations that have called on the Victorian Government to commit to a timeline and plan to establish a Consumer Leadership Agency as outlined in recommendation 29 of the Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System.

The Royal Commission recommended that a Consumer Leadership Agency be established to ensure that the voices and expertise of Victorians with lived experience of mental illness are at the heart of the new system. It was designated as a short-term priority that would underpin other reforms.

After two years without confirmation of a timeline or a clear implementation plan, the VMIAC has called for action to ensure that Victorians can expect to see the agency in operation.


In a joint letter addressed to Victorian Premier Jacinta Allan MP, Treasurer Tim Pallas MP and Minister for Mental Health Ingrid Stitt MLC, the VMIAC expressed its urgent anticipation of the reform.

“As leaders of Victoria’s community mental health and advocacy sector, we are seeking confirmation that the Victorian Government remains committed to establishing the Consumer Leadership Agency, as outlined in recommendation 29 of the Mental Health Royal Commission,” the letter stated.

“We are seeking a clear timeline for when it will commence operation, noting the centrality of this reform to the Royal Commission’s vision for a Victorian mental health system with consumer leadership at its heart.

“We urge the Allan Government to allocate funding for the immediate establishment of the Consumer Leadership Agency. This is a priority issue for our sector.”

Signatories include:

  • The Victorian Council of Social Service
  • Mental Health Victoria
  • The Centre for Excellence in Child and Family Welfare
  • Self-Help Addiction Resource Centre
  • Tandem
  • Victorian Alcohol and Drug Association
  • Youth Affairs Council of Victoria
  • Women’s Mental Health Alliance
  • Foundation House
  • Mind
  • Wellways
  • Centre for Mental Health Learning
  • Flourish Australia
  • Neami National


VMIAC Chief Executive Officer Craig Wallace said there is growing concern in the community and amongst mental health services that further delay on this reform could undermine mental health services in Victoria.

“The Consumer Leadership Agency was designed to be the backbone for lived experience in mental health services and an incubator for the next generation of lived experience leaders,” Mr Wallace said.

“It is the missing piece of the puzzle of the new mental health system envisaged by the Royal Commission.

“These 15 groups represent peak bodies and frontline services across the mental health system. We have signed on to this joint letter because we are concerned that the strong commitments to consumer-led reform made at the time of the Royal Commission might have faltered over the last year.

“Lived experience must be at the heart of Victoria’s new mental health system or we will keep hearing the same tragic stories that the Royal Commission heard.”

Data analysed by the Commission indicated that the difference between actual hours of community mental health and well-being treatment, care and support delivered across all age groups — by public specialist mental health services — and what was required in the 2019 – ‘20 financial year was around 3.3 million hours.


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