Gippsland residents had an opportunity to attend community consultation events in Sale and Warragul in May as part of the Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System.
More than twenty community events were held to enable Victorians’ to share their views on how to improve the mental health system. Organisations and individuals are still encouraged make submissions before the closing date 5 July 2019.
The Royal Commission is the first of its kind in Australia and is tasked with providing a comprehensive set of recommendations on how to best reform the current mental health system and support Victorians with mental illness, including those at risk of suicide. The state government committed to implementing all the recommendations by the Royal Commission.
Gippsland PHN identified a high proportion of the Gippsland population experience mental health issues with 29 per cent of the population reporting anxiety and depression. High or very high psychological distress is experienced by up to 1 in 5 people. Stakeholder consultation identified mental health as a top priority across age groups and in all areas of Gippsland.
Gippsland PHN continues to provide support to those undertaking planning work at a local level, including through applying the National Mental Health Service Planning Framework to understand demographics of at-risk groups across Gippsland is required.
Mr Martin Foley, who was the Minister for Health at the time the commission was announced, said “it was important to hear what every day Victorians had to say about what topics should be covered by the Royal Commission, to ensure future changes to the mental health system directly reflect what they want and need.”
Individuals who make submissions can request anonymity or confidentiality, but the Royal Commission is encouraging transparency. Organisations will need to explain reasons why their submissions should remain confidential.
Public hearings will take place next month with a view to deliver an interim report in November this year followed by a final report to be delivered in October 2020.
Submissions can be made relatively easily online with multiple submissions permitted.
If you wish to contribute and require assistance to do so, please contact the Commission on 1800 00 11 34 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.