Victoria Legal Aid (including Independent Mental Health Advocacy) have released the Your story, your say final report. This report details Victorian consumers’ concerns and recommendations about Victoria’s mental health system. The Your story, your say project heard from 34 lived experience experts (consumers), who shared their stories directly with the Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System.
While these stories were provided to the Royal Commission, the VLA team compiled a report highlighting the themes that emerged from these stories. These were launched with a video between Simon Katterl (Project Coordinator), Imogen (lived experience expert) and Barbara (lived experience expert).
‘Barbara and Imogen’s stories ask us to acknowledge that crisis services such as emergency departments and inpatient units are often hurting rather than helping Victorians when they present for support,’ said Simon.
‘This is just one part of the broader mental health system that our lived experience experts reflect on in their stories to the Royal Commission.’
Asked about what needs to be done by the Royal Commission, Imogen said ‘I think there needs to be more support outside of the mental health system… There's lots of things that impact our mental health, housing, study, work, social and family connection just as a few examples and I think that the mental health system needs to put more emphasis on supporting consumers to set them up in the best way possible.’
Barbara focused on improving the workforce by including ‘people with lived experience [are] working with others with mental illness because I believe a problem shared is a problem halved and if people are listened to, that's a great start.’
Read the full report here.