RANZCP welcomes appointments to mental health Independent Review Panel

The peak body for psychiatrists has welcomed the appointment of key personnel to the Victorian Government’s mental health Independent Review Panel – a panel established to review the criteria, regulations and future legislation for compulsory mental health treatment, as part of the reform of Victoria’s mental health and wellbeing system.

The Honourable Justice Shane Marshall AM has been appointed to Chair the Independent Review panel which also includes psychiatrist Professor Richard Newton, lived experience consumer representatives, Ms Flick Grey and Ms Erandathie Jayakody; and lived experience carer representative, Ms Lisa Sweeney.

Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists (RANZCP) Victorian Branch Chair, Dr Astha Tomar, congratulated the Victorian Government on the swift implementation of the panel, which was a key recommendation of the Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System.

'Frontline psychiatrists have long said that compulsory treatment criteria should be simplified and clarified, and that Victoria’s mental health laws need to be aligned over time with other Victorian decision-making laws. The development of this panel is an important step in making that happen', Dr Tomar said. 

'The Independent Review panel has a crucial role to play in shaping the future of mental health service delivery in the state. It is significant in ensuring future laws relating to mental health in Victoria are guided by evidence and best practice'.

'We know we need a whole of system approach to mental health, particularly when it comes to important areas such as driving down the rates of restraint and seclusion in the state. This is a big opportunity to make significant gains on that front'.

Dr Tomar noted the importance of the Independent Review panel being provided with the resources and timeframe required to undertake such a critical piece of work. 

'It is vital that the panel’s review process is not rushed to meet external timelines but is rather conducted in the thorough manner an issue of this importance warrants'.

'The RANZCP looks forward to working collaboratively with the Independent Review Panel to ensure the best possible mental health outcomes for all Victorians'.

The panel will commence its review of the state’s mental health practices in October and report back to the Victorian Government in 12 months. Its recommendations will form the basis of amending legislation. 

The work of the Independent Review will be guided by Terms of Reference developed by consumers, families, carers, supporters, workers, and service providers – including the RANZCP Victorian Branch.

For all other expert mental health information visit Your Health in Mind, the RANZCP’s consumer health information website.

ENQUIRIES: For more information, or to arrange an interview call +61 437 315 911, or email media@ranzcp.org

The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists is a membership organisation that prepares medical specialists in the field of psychiatry, supports and enhances clinical practice, advocates for people affected by mental illness and advises governments and other groups on mental health care. For information about our work, our members or our history, visit www.ranzcp.org.

In Australia: If you or someone you know needs help, contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or www.lifeline.org.au or the Suicide Callback Service on 1300 659 467 or www.suicidecallbackservice.org.au.

In Aotearoa New Zealand: If you or someone you know needs help, 1737 is here to help, for free - Mental Health. You can also contact Lifeline NZ on 0800 543 354 or www.lifeline.org.nz or the Suicide Crisis Helpline on 0508 828 865 or www.lifeline.org.nz/suicide-prevention.


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