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Australia Victoria to introduce new mental health services tax in wake of 'harrowing' royal commission report

03:20  28 november  2019
03:20  28 november  2019 Source:   abc.net.au

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The Victorian Government has established a Royal Commission into Victoria ’s Mental Health System – the first of its kind in Australia. Minister for Mental Health Martin Foley announced on Sunday 24 February that the Commission will be led by Penny Armytage as chairperson, supported by

Mental health royal commission overwhelmed by response. Skip to sections navigation Skip to content Skip to footer. Almost 4500 Victorians have flooded a major inquiry into the state's mental health system with submissions about the crisis in services for people suffering mental illness

a couple of people posing for the camera: The royal commission's chair, Penny Armytage, told reporters it was clear the system was © Provided by ABC Health The royal commission's chair, Penny Armytage, told reporters it was clear the system was "failing". (ABC News: Zalika Rizmal)

Victoria will introduce a special tax to help fund mental health services and fix the state's "broken" system, following an interim report from a royal commission.

In the report tabled in State Parliament, Victoria's mental health royal commission said even though it was barely halfway through its work, there were matters requiring "immediate action".

The commission's chair, Penny Armytage, said it was clear the system was "failing" and all the evidence the commission had heard had reinforced that fact.

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" Mental health has been the poor cousin of the health system for many years and there are incredible pressure points within the system that need to be addressed," Mental Health Victoria boss Angus Clelland said. "In particular the pressure between the hospital emergency departments and general

The MHCC is working to improve mental health services , supports and policies for diverse populations, including immigrant, refugee, racialized and ethno-cultural groups, people in the LGBTQ2S community, youth, seniors, Indigenous populations, people in minority language situations, and public

"Everything we have heard has confirmed that poor mental health is a pressing yet largely ignored health crisis in Victoria," she said.

She said the interim report was not a "draft" of the commission's final report, but had been produced to draw attention to issues needing urgent attention.

The report urged the Victorian Government to introduce "a levy or tax".

Premier Daniel Andrews told Parliament the report was "harrowing" reading and his Government would implement all the recommendations in the report, including the levy.

The recommendations also include:

  • An additional 170 acute mental health beds for young people and adults to meet demand
  • The establishment of a mental health centre for excellence
  • A second centre focused on providing culturally appropriate treatment for Aboriginal Victorians
  • The expansion of follow-up care for people who have attempted suicide, and an outreach program for children and young people who have self-harmed or are at risk of suicide
  • A "Mental Health Implementation Office", funded for two years to make the necessary transformative changes to the system.

Thousands of submissions before commission

The commission absorbed more than 10,000 submissions and heard public evidence from 96 witnesses who shared their personal and painful stories of grappling with mental illness.

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Mental health services annual report . The Royal Commission also provides an opportunity for a wider community conversation about mental health – toward ending stigma and discrimination. We know Victoria 's mental health system needs to change.

The Royal Commission on the National Health Service was set up by the Wilson government in 1975. It was to consider the "best use and management of the financial and manpower resources of the NHS". The Royal Commission reported in June 1979, by which time the government had changed.

Unlike other royal commissions, this one has not investigated Victorians' individual cases of treatment or made findings about the conduct of specific service providers.

Instead, its focus has been on "what mental health services might look like in the future".

Issues raised during the hearings included the lack of publicly-funded services in regional Victoria, the lack of culturally appropriate services for Aboriginal Victorians and the fact that police officers are responding to a mental health call every 12 minutes.

The commission is due to deliver its final report in October 2020.

■ If you or anyone you know is suffering from depression, call Lifeline on 13 11 14, Beyondblue on 1300 22 4636, or Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800. HTML code If you or anyone you know is suffering from depression, call Lifeline on 13 11 14, Beyondblue on 1300 22 4636, or Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800.

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