Media Release

Wellways Australia congratulates the Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System in delivering its interim report and welcomes its recommendations.

The Royal Commissions’ interim report, released yesterday, outlines several priority recommendations that require immediate action. Wellways agrees that for too long mental health has been relegated to the shadows within the broader health system. Historical underinvestment and increasing demand mean that services can no longer respond adequately to people living with mental illness, their families and carers. People do not receive the support they need when they need it. Many are left to exist on the margins; many feel unbearably alone and defeated when the right services are not available to them; and some take their own lives.

Wellways CEO Elizabeth Crowther said “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. Inclusive communities celebrate diversity and understand the strength that this diversity brings to the community as a whole. Inclusive communities challenge age-old prejudices and the established patterns of discrimination they foster, replacing marginalisation and isolation with affirmation, eager welcoming and embracement.”

“We welcome the work of the Commission and its acknowledgement that their work ‘is far from complete’,” said Ms Crowther. “Wellways looks forward to the Commission’s final report in October 2020 and its further recommendations to establish a ‘well-resourced community mental health services—based on collaborative, multidisciplinary models of care’.

“Key to our submission to the Royal Commission was that Victoria must give mental health the same priority as physical health. Our position is clear. We expect both equity and parity of esteem between mental health and physical health services.

“The solution to the State’s failure to adequately provide a mental health system is not just a question of money. Success of mental health policy should be measured by the State’s wellbeing, not just by levels of public funding. We need a Victorian-first public health strategy that will give equal weight to both mental and physical health.

The Commission acknowledged Wellways Australia’s submission throughout the interim report. In particular, recognising ‘that people close to the problems of mental health are closest to finding the solutions’.

Download Media release statement (PDF - 150KB)

For more information 
Scott Samson, Public Affairs, Wellways Australia
media@wellways.org | (03) 8486 4200 | 0429 022 248