Victoria's Royal Commission into mental health hands down its findings 

After a two-year inquiry, Victoria's Royal Commission into the state's mental health system has delivered its final report.  

The Commission was led by Penny Armytage AM (Chair), who reflected that one participant told her: "we don’t want to fill in the potholes, we want a new road".  

Through its investigation, the commission found that demand for services had over taken what was available and community-based services were undersupplied. It also established that the system was imbalanced, with an over reliance on medication and that there was a missing middle for people who needed support to go about their lives but didn't need crisis level interventions.  

Among other themes it explored it found that there needed to be a greater focus on personal recovery, rather than clinical recovery. It explored that some groups were particularly disadvantaged when trying to access support.  

The report includes 65 recommendations which aim to improve the mental health system to provider better wellbeing for all Victorians. It calls for system-wide changes that will meet the needs and expectations of people living with mental illness, their families, carers and supporters.  

In launching the report, Ms Armytage said that it aims to fundamentally reform a new mental health system. 

“Rolling out this new system will require a huge commitment to implementation from government and the sector. All partners in delivering this reform must rise to the challenge. The importance of good mental health and wellbeing cannot be sidelined any longer. It matters too much to too many. This is not ‘someone else’s problem’. This is about all of us.” 

The recommendations include: expanding crisis outreach services and creating 'safe spaces' for those in crisis; establishing a responsive and integrated mental health and wellbeing system; investing in community managed mental health services; and establishing mental health workplaces and schools.  

The commission heard from a wide range of people during many roundtables, public hearings, witness statements, surveys, workshops and submissions.  

Flourish Australia welcomes the report's findings and supports greater investment and commitment to co-designed recovery-focused, community-based mental health support.  

To read more about Victoria's Royal Commission visit their website at  rcvmhs.vic.gov.au