Late last year, the Victorian Government announced the establishment of a Royal Commission into Mental Health – the first of its kind in Australia. A Royal Commission is the highest form of inquiry that exists under Australian law. It is how the most critical issues of public interest are investigated.
This Royal Commission will investigate:
- Strategies for early intervention and prevention
- Access to Victoria’s mental health system, including ease of navigating services
- Strategies to support families and carers of people living with mental illness
- Strategies to improve mental health outcomes
It will deliver an interim report to the Victorian Government by November 2019, and a final report by October 2020. The final report will make a number of recommendations to the Victorian Government about how the mental health system can be improved.
The Royal Commission process presents a unique opportunity for us to shine a light on issues affecting the mental health outcomes of older Victorians. The following are just some of the issues COTA Victoria has already identified as being critical to this topic:
- Stigma and discrimination
- Barriers to accessing appropriate services in residential aged care settings
- Lack of age-sensitive services
The Royal Commission is holding a number of community forums across Victoria throughout April and May, to gather feedback from members of the public who have been impacted by mental illness. If this is a subject you are passionate about, please consider attending and speaking at a forum to help ensure this process captures the needs and views of older Victorians. A full list of dates and locations can be accessed at the Community Consultation website.
COTA Victoria will also be reaching out to older people across Victoria over the coming months to gather feedback to inform its own work around the Royal Commission. If you would like to be kept informed about what’s happening in this area, please contact COTA Victoria’s Policy Officer, Lauren Henley, on 9655 2140, or send an email to: LHenley@cotavic.au