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On the third anniversary of Victoria's historic Mental Health Royal Commission, consumer advocates are still asking when they will see action

Mental health and AOD consumer advocates are marking three years since the Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System by writing to all Victorian parliamentarians about a key recommendation that remains long overdue. You can read their open letter here.

Recommendation 29 is for the establishment of a Consumer Leadership Agency at the heart of Victoria’s mental health system transformation.

It is expected to improve health outcomes for Victorians living with mental illness and save lives through more effective prevention and crisis responses.

The Consumer Leadership Agency is intended to provide stronger choice, control and protection to Victorians using the state’s mental health system. It also promised training and professional development opportunities to people with lived experience to develop their policy and advocacy skills.

The Victorian Government committed to establishing this critical consumer-led infrastructure, but the Royal Commission’s intended timeline of late 2022 has long passed. 

The open letter seeks an assurance that the ‘missing heart of Victoria’s mental health system reform’ is prioritised in the 2024 Victorian Budget and not delayed further.

The Allan Government is yet to provide a timeline for implementation or even an assurance that it will be included in the 2024 Budget.

Late last year, 15 of Victoria’s most influential community sector organisations wrote to the Victorian Premier Jacinta Allan, Victorian Treasurer Tim Pallas and Victorian Minister for Mental Health Ingrid Stitt seeking a clear timeline for the establishment of the Consumer Leadership Agency. You can read their joint letter here.

Quotes attributable to VMIAC Acting CEO Vrinda Edan

“The Royal Commission intended the Consumer Leadership Agency to be at the heart of Victoria’s new mental health system, but it is still missing three years later.”

“The Consumer Leadership Agency was designed to be a place where people could go and feel like they belong, where they could see innovation and become an advocate and leader in a world-leading mental health system.”

“If the Victorian Government fails to put people who use mental health services at the centre of the new system then we will repeat the mistakes of the past.”

Quotes attributable to SHARC CEO Clare Davies

“Victoria still has an opportunity to show national and international leadership by creating the Consumer Leadership Agency and ensuring lived experience has a permanent place at the table when program and funding decisions are made.”

“The Royal Commission listened to thousands of stories and honoured them by proposing a new system where mental health consumers would have a voice in system and service design. There is a lot of fear in the community that this is being lost as time goes on without action from government.”

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