Building our mental health system from the ground up

The Victorian Government will accept each and every recommendation handed down by the Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System, as part of its interim report.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews and Victorian Minister for Mental Health Martin Foley visited the Sebastopol Men’s Shed and met with local ‘shedders’ who have turned to the Men’s Shed to improve their health, wellbeing and sense of purpose.

The Royal Commission has found too many Victorians needing help can’t find suitable support, while those who do access ‘the system’ find it hard to negotiate their way through it. People living with mental illness are waiting longer and getting sicker before they can access services. Poor mental health costs Victoria $14.2 billion annually.

The Commission also found that the rate of suicide among men aged 35–54 years who lived in rural and regional communities was around 60 per cent higher than those living in Melbourne.

The Royal Commission recommends:

  • Expanding the Hospital Outreach Post-suicidal Engagement (HOPE) program currently servicing Geelong, Wangaratta, Latrobe Valley, Ballarat and Bendigo to also include Goulburn Valley, Mildura and Warrnambool
  • Better access to HOPE for Victorians in regional and rural areas by establishing extra clinical outreach services
  • More acute beds
  • Workforce development to address the workforce challenges that are even more pronounced in regional and rural Victoria. The recommendation includes additional graduate placements, scholarships, supporting international recruitment and adding Certificate IV in Mental Health to the Free TAFE list
  • The state-wide rollout of Aboriginal health and wellbeing teams

The Royal Commission also recommends a revenue mechanism to support the major mental health reform.

Men’s Sheds play a powerful role when it comes to the mental health of men. That’s why the Victorian Government is backing organisations right across the state, with nearly $900,000 for eight new sheds and 15 shed refurbishments around Victoria.

The Commission will hold further public hearings in 2020 before delivering its 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.

Source: Vic Government