Mental Health Reform in 2021 and Beyond

The Royal Commission into Victorian Mental Health Services offers a once-in-a-generation opportunity for long overdue reform of mental healthcare service provision.

In 2021, Spiritual Health Association welcomed the release of the final report from the Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System and the commitment of the Victorian Government to implement all the recommendations.

SHA responded to the Royal Commission into Mental Health final report, and specifically noted:

  • Extent of the consultation and hearing the stories of people with lived experience of mental ill health is to be congratulated and creates potential for meaningful reform – responding to what really matters to people. 
  • Transformation of the system will be possible with a commitment to holistic care that for the first time is inclusive of the psycho-social spiritual dimensions for all people.
  • Witness statement, p. 392 – ‘Part of recovery involves embracing the totality of your experience. It’s not just physical rehabilitation, it’s psychological rehabilitation, social rehabilitation, spiritual rehabilitation; it is the totality of life …’
  • Definition, p. 142 & 667 – ‘Mental wellbeing is a dynamic state of complete physical, mental, social, and spiritual wellbeing in which a person can develop to their potential, cope with the normal stresses of life, work productively and creatively, build strong and positive relationships with others, and contribute to the community.’

The Victorian Royal Commission report is the final of four key reports to be tabled that explore mental health from a range of perspectives both in Victoria and nationally. Christine Morgan CEO of the National Mental Health Commission suggests there are three key things to have emerged across all documents, and they feel encouraging for the role of spiritual care. These include:

  • Lived experience & expertise central to mental health reform at every touch point  
  • Whole of life and whole of system approach – outcomes measured
  • Long-term sustainable planning with adaptability with immediate/short term responses to changing needs and contexts

We are ready to contribute to the massive task of reform that lies ahead that will only be possible through continuing the commitment to everyone’s voice being heard.