26 September 2023

State’s mental health law under review

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Victoria’s mental health laws are to be amended to promote human rights better and support a reduction in compulsory treatment.

Announced by the Minister for Mental Health, Gabrielle Williams, an Independent Review Panel has begun a review of the State’s mental health compulsory treatment criteria to ensure that as the Government rebuilds the mental health system, it supports the dignity and autonomy of people experiencing mental illness.

“The work of the Independent Review panel will ensure we have solid foundations for a world-class mental health system that protects the human rights and safety of any Victorian in crisis,” Ms Williams said.

“The Panel’s work builds on the progress we’ve made to provide more robust safeguards and oversights to protect the dignity and autonomy of people experiencing mental illness.”

She said the Panel’s Terms of Reference were developed by community members including consumers, carers, family members, mental health workers and service providers with experience and connections to Aboriginal, LGBTQI+, disability and multicultural communities.

“Under the Terms of Reference, the Independent Review will look at how the Mental Health and Wellbeing Act can better promote human rights and support a reduction in compulsory treatment,” the Minister said.

“The panel will begin discussions with a broad cross section of the Victorian community including consumers, carers, families, and supporters, the mental health and wellbeing workforce and peak bodies in early 2023,” she said.

“The work of the Independent Review finishes late next year.”

Ms Williams said the Panel was being Chaired by former Federal Court Judge, Shane Marshall, supported by Erandathie Jayakody, Flick Grey, Lisa Sweeney and Richard Newton.

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