Mental Health and Wellbeing Act

The update and engagement paper is available for feedback via Engage Victoria between 15 June and 4 July 2021.

Why are we developing a new Act?

The Royal Commission recommended that the Victorian Government replace the current Mental Health Act 2014 with a new Mental Health and Wellbeing Act. To meet the Royal Commission’s recommendations, the new Act is required to be in place by mid-2022.

The Department of Health is developing the new Act as the lead agency responsible for mental health legislation in Victoria. As described by the Royal Commission, the Act will establish critical foundations for a redesigned mental health and wellbeing system. This includes people with lived experience in system leadership, as well as the entities needed to enable strong system accountability and transparency.

The new Act will support the Royal Commission’s aspirations for a system that is accessible, provides for a diverse range of high‑quality services, reflects the views, preferences and values of people living with mental illness or psychological distress, families, carers and supporters and promotes and protects human rights. It will support improved access to culturally appropriate and safe mental health and wellbeing services for all Victorians.

The new Act is just one part of the work to deliver on the Royal Commission’s recommendations. The department will engage directly with stakeholders to ensure the views of those with lived experience, carers, families and the expertise of the mental health workforce underpin all aspects of the reforms. The department will keep people informed about implementation of the Royal Commission’s recommendations and other opportunities to contribute.

The paper describes the development of the new Act and proposals on policy issues that require more input to make sure they meet the Royal Commission’s recommendations.

There are four key sections in the paper:

  • the objectives and principles of the new Act 
  • non-legal advocacy, supported decision-making and information sharing 
  • compulsory treatment and assessment, seclusion and restraint
  • governance and oversight in the new Act.

Each of these sections includes:

  • the recommendations of the Royal Commission on that topic
  • the department’s proposals to meet the Royal Commission’s recommendations, highlighting what will be different 
  • points of feedback about possible ways to improve the proposals.

Please visit the Engage Victoria website to participate. Anyone can make a submission. Summaries of the paper are available in Easy English and 18 community languages. The summaries include the policy proposals and questions for feedback.

Further information

Mental Health and Wellbeing Act Project
Mental Health Division | Department of Health mhwa@health.vic.gov.au

For more information please visit the department’s website <https://www2.health.vic.gov.au/mental-health/mental-health-reform/new-mental-health-wellbeing-act-victoria>   

 

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