The ineffectiveness of Victoria’s mental health system, fragmented and dominated by a medical model, has major adverse impacts – with increased experiences of isolation and indifference for people who experience poor mental health, their families and carers.

To reverse this requires a fundamental reframing of the ways in which we all relate to one another. Wellways Australia believes in building inclusive communities – ones in which everyone has the opportunity to lead meaningful and satisfying lives and participate as fully as they would like as valued members.

This is why Wellways has provided a submission to the Victorian Royal Commission into Mental Health that supports the adoption of three broad theoretical paradigms that provide a useful framework towards an emerging consensus around community inclusion: 1) human rights; 2) economic and moral development; and 3) individual health – all of which will help to shape the next generation of policies to encourage and establish a Community Inclusion Model of Care.

We believe a Community Inclusion Model of Care will celebrate diversity and understand the strength that this diversity brings to the community as a whole. At Wellways, we understand that in order to return to overall health, people need to return to and be supported in the community in which they live. People cannot recover long-term good mental health in isolation. To achieve this requires a fundamental reframing of the ways in which we all relate to one another.

This is why it is important to build inclusive communities and challenge age-old prejudices and the established patterns of discrimination they foster, replacing marginalisation and isolation with affirmation, eager welcoming and embracement.

Our submission to the Royal Commission is supported by data collected from 5 five consultation workshops run to provide Victorians with a lived experience of mental health issues an opportunity to have their story heard, together with a online survey made available to Victorians unable to attend a consultation workshop in person.

We must give mental health the same priority as physical health. This phrase perfectly captures Wellways Australia’s ambitious aim to mainstream mental health in Victoria and across Australia. Our position is clear. We expect both equity and parity of esteem between mental health and physical health services. The challenges are enormous but the rewards of meeting them are great.

Download our submission for further information.