Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System

The Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System is a once in a generation opportunity to design a mental health system which meets the needs of people with mental illness, their carers and families and the workforce which supports them.

The Commission is tasked with providing a comprehensive set of recommendations on how to best support Victorians with mental illness, including Victorians at risk of suicide. It will also play a major role in raising public awareness about mental health as an issue.

The Victorian Branch has been active in contributing to the Commission. You can read the summary of the Victorian Branch engagement with the Commission:

RANZCP Royal Commission Engagement Summary [PDF; 1007 KB]

Royal Commission Final Report

The Royal Commission Final Report was previously due in 2020, however, in May 2020 amended Letters Patent were issued, extending the date by which the Commission must report its findings by three months. The Commission must now deliver its final report by 5 February 2021.

Once published, the Victorian Branch will conduct an analysis of the Final Report and undertake further communications with members. The Victorian Branch will also continue to engage with the State government and other key stakeholders in the implementation phase of the Royal Commission.

In preparation for the Final Report, the Victorian Branch coordinated a reflective session for psychiatrists involved in the Royal Commission process on 1 December 2020. The purpose of this session is to consider how the profession of psychiatry has been represented throughout the Royal Commission process, and to inform the approach to the Royal Commission Final Report. 

Royal Commission Interim Report

The Commission released their Interim Report on 28 November 2019, available on the Royal Commission website. This is the first of two major reports by the Commission and represents a review of what the Commission has learned so far. The Victorian Branch has welcomed the report as a step in the right direction, with several Victorian Branch recommendations reflected within the Interim Report, including our recommendation for an increase
in the bed base in Victoria. 

The Victorian Branch has been actively engaging with key stakeholders on the recommendations contained within the Interim Report, including the Department of Health and Human Services and the Victorian Minister for Mental Health. Following a roundtable meeting with the Commission in late 2019. The Victorian Branch is providing further information on specific areas of interest, including psychiatry services for older people and consultation-liaison psychiatry services.

The release of the Interim Report has led to a new Victorian government administrative office, Mental Health Reform Victoria (MHRV) to implement 7 of the 9 recommendations. The Victorian Branch congratulates RANZCP Fellow, Associate Professor Simon Stafrace, on his appointment to Chief Adviser of MHRV and looks forward to working with MHRV to guide the implementation of the Commission’s recommendations. 

Victorian Branch Submission to the Royal Commission

The Victorian Branch lodged its formal submission to the Royal Commission on Friday 5 July.

The submission urges the Commission to focus the conduct of its inquiry on redesigning the architecture of the mental health system, including its governance, infrastructure and models of care, so that it can provide mental health care
to people of all ages and stages of mental illness and improve outcomes for those who use it.

RANZCP Victorian Branch submission to the Royal Commission into Victoria's Mental Health System, July 2019 [PDF; 1.16 MB]

To inform the submission, the Victorian Branch undertook a considered consultation process, which included:

  • an online questionnaire
  • a facilitated forum with all Victorian Branch members invited;
  • consultation with consumer representatives in the College;
  • consultation with Faculties and Sections
  • consultation with members from other states and jurisdictions to gather best-practice models of care.

About the Royal Commission

The Commission is led by Penny Armytage as chairperson and supported by commissioners: RANZCP Fellow Dr Alex Cockram, Professor Bernadette McSherry and Professor Allan Fels AO.

RANZCP Fellow Professor Pat McGorry is Chair of the Expert Advisory Committee.

The Commission will provide a final report to the Victorian Government by October 2020. The Victorian Government has already committed to implementing every recommendation from the Royal Commission.

The Royal Commission will gather information from individuals and organisations through:

  • community consultations, including:
    • community forums for the general public, people living with mental illness, their family members and carers and those with an interest in mental health
    • sessions for people living with mental illness, their family members or carers who may prefer to attend a dedicated discussion
    • roundtables on local issues
  • written submissions by email and post
  • submissions through audio recordings, videos
  • contributions through online forums, including discussion groups and social media
  • stakeholder and expert roundtables
  • hearings
  • research
  • site visits
  • data and documentation provided by key agencies (including government and researchers).

View the terms of reference 

More information

For more information, please contact