THE Royal Commission into Victoria’s mental health system visited Sale last Tuesday, as part of its community consultation sessions around the country, hearing from the local community about their experiences and ideas for change.
Commissioner Dr Alex Cockram said it welcomed a strong and passionate turnout from the Sale community.
“We heard from people with lived experience, carers, service providers and the workforce about the key issues in the local area,” she said.
“There was a really strong sense of community at the sessions, and this was clear during conversations about the importance of supporting local community groups – and the need to better support local responses.
“People told us about the lack of accessible services, the challenge of needing to travel long distances to get help and the lack of choice around local services.
“We heard a number of people speak about a greater need to focus on prevention and options to support people within the community, before they reach the point of crisis.
“Another strong local theme was around the lack of suitable housing in the area.
“Having the local community participate in our community consultation sessions has been invaluable.”
During April and May, the Royal Commission will visit 22 locations, including rural, regional and metropolitan areas, but attending the community consultations isn’t the only way people can have their say.
The Commission encourages all Victorians to share their views on how to improve the mental health system by making an online submission at www.rcvmhs.vic.gov.au.
Submissions are open until July 5.
Public hearings will take place in July this year.
The Commission’s interim report will be delivered in November this year, with the final report delivered in October 2020.
The state government has committed to implementing all of the recommendations from the Royal Commission.