Mental Health Royal Commission Public Hearings Begin

Victorians touched by mental health will be the first to tell their stories as public hearings for the Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System start at the Melbourne Town Hall today.

The Royal Commission is the first of its kind in Australia to address our broken mental health system. It will map out a plan of action that drives major changes to the state’s system to support the Victorian’s with mental illness, including those at risk of suicide.

The hearings will run from today until July 26, with around 90 people expected to give evidence, including people living with mental illness and carers, service providers and their workforce, experts and government representatives.

There will be a dedicated day of rural hearings in Maryborough on 15 July, and the Commission will consider issues specific to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island communities at a hearing in Thornbury on 16 July.

The Andrews Labor Government has invested more than $13 million in the establishment of the Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System and funded an additional $3.5 million through the Victorian Budget 2019/20.

The Labor Government will implement all the Royal Commission’s recommendations.

The hearings will be live streamed from the Commission’s website each day. Anyone can attend, without registering, however there is limited capacity at each venue. More information about the hearings and witnesses can be found at rcvmhs.vic.gov.au/hearings.

The Commission is still accepting online submissions until 5 July at rcvmhs.vic.gov.au and will deliver an interim report in November followed by a final report in October 2020.

If you or someone you know is in crisis or needs support call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or BeyondBlue on 1300 224 636.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Mental Health Martin Foley

“We’ve established the Royal Commission because we know the system is broken.”

“The powerful stories we will hear during these hearings will help drive change, so we can make sure people get the services they need, when they need them.”

“Every year, one in five Victorians experience mental illness. This Royal Commission is a once in a lifetime opportunity to remove stigma and improve supports for Victorians experiencing poor mental health.”