Story Category: Advocacy

VTMH contributions to the Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System

The Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System commenced in 2019 and VTMH has been engaged with the work of the Commission over the past 18 months.

For instance  

  • we wrote a submission to the Commission regarding its terms of reference
  • we joined calls to make community consultations more inclusive and ensure Commission information is available in community languages
  • the VTMH Manager appeared as an expert witness
  • the VTMH team spoke with policy officers about culturally responsive service design and empowering communities
  • we facilitated a roundtable event with the Commission and the VTMH Reference Group

Terms of reference

In February 2019, the Victorian community was asked to help set the Commission’s terms of reference. Read our submission in full here.  

Expert witness  

As part of a week-long focus on LGBTIQ+ and culturally and linguistically diverse communities, Adriana Mendoza appeared at a public hearing in May 2019. Read her expert witness statement  here and also her contribution to this video. 

Roundtable discussion  

At a recent roundtable discussion, Chair of the Royal Commission  Penny Armytage, Commissioner Dr Alex Cockram and Commission directors and principal policy officers met with members of the VTMH team and VTMH Reference Group. Together, we focused on three themes: community, consumers and carer perspectives, workforce development, as well as governance, data and research. Issues are summarised here.

Throughout this time, we’ve highlighted that health and illness experiences are mediated by power and culture. Similarly, we know that mental health means many things within and across groups. The evidence is clear. Inequality harms health and wellbeing and, for many, help is beyond their reach.

This is why cultural safety is integral to delivering fair and responsive services – hand-in-hand with engaging communities and community-based agencies as partners.