In May 2020, members of the well established VTMH Reference Group met with Chair of the Royal Commission Penny Armytage and Commissioner Dr Alex Cockram. This was chance to advocate for a fairer and more just service system. Being more inclusive will be key.
Firstly, we heard many voices. We listened to people with lived experience and leaders in education and research. Consumer and carer advocates, community organisations and mental health and multicultural services also spoke.
Secondly, we explored three themes: engaging communities, consumers and carers; workforce development; and governance, data collection and research.
Finally, we talked about solutions. About ways to create a more culturally safe, responsive mental health service system.
Keep reading to learn more about VTMH and the Commission.
Adriana Mendoza, VTMH Manager, appeared at the Commission on Thursday, 18 July, 2019 as part of a session that considered how the mental health system engages with, recognises and responds to the needs of diverse communities, including lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer people; and people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.
Over the month of January, all Victorians were invited to submit their thoughts on the themes of the Royal Commission to inform the official Terms of Reference.
Victorian Transcultural Mental Health welcomes the establishment of the Royal Commission into Mental Health and for the opportunity to contribute to the Royal Commission’s Terms of Reference.
We recognise the Royal Commission as an opportunity to hear from and make visible, the lives and experiences of Victorians from diverse communities.
In our submission we advocate for a focus on cultural safety and responding to diversity, inclusive of the mental health impacts of discrimination, whilst recognising the role of families and communities in mental health recovery and care. In addition we encourage the terms of reference to recognise cultural safety and cultural responsiveness as a human right for all Victorians.