28 November 2019

The Royal Commission interim report makes nine recommendations to fundamentally reform mental health care in Victoria.

North Western Melbourne Primary Health Network welcomes the release of the interim report of the Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System.

NWMPHN stands ready to assist with implementation of the Royal Commission’s recommendations, which the Victorian Government has already committed to enacting in full.

NWMPHN CEO Adjunct Associate Professor Christopher Carter said the Commission’s hearings and interim report have both confirmed the scale of the challenges facing the Victorian mental health system.

“But they also show the way forward – fundamental reform of the mental health system, with the end goal of supporting people living with mental health issues to be able to have full and contributing lives,” A/Prof Carter said.

“We believe this is possible, through improving access to care, increasing support for prevention and early intervention, and by breaking down the barriers between mental health care and the broader health system.

“Above all we need to ensure that people with lived experience of mental health issues are central to the development of the new system.”

NWMPHN is working towards these goals with our mental health System of Care, an integrated suite of services that ‘wrap around’ the needs of a person. System of Care services are designed to adapt to a person’s changing needs, providing higher or lower intensity levels of support as required.

A/Prof Carter said reform needs to be focused towards creating a mental health system that is responsive to people’s individual needs and places mental health needs in the context of a person’s overall health and circumstances.

“General practice is regularly the first place people seek help about their mental health, often while visiting about a physical health issue. This reform needs to recognise the central role that primary care plays in the system and the opportunities it presents for a more holistic approach to mental health care.

“As we stated in our submission as part of the Victorian Tasmanian Primary Health Network Alliance, this is a once in a generation opportunity to change mental health in Victoria for the better. We look forward to the delivery of the Commission’s full report late next year and working with governments and providers at all levels to create the mental health system Victorian’s need and deserve.”

Printable version of release here.

 

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