Psychiatrists support swift response on mental health system rebuild

04 March 2021

The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists (RANZCP) Victorian Branch strongly welcomes the Victorian Government’s rapid action in implementing the recommendations from the Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System report.

The Victorian Government has today announced the creation of a new $6 million Centre of Excellence for the mental health and wellbeing of our state’s emergency services workers.

‘We absolutely support the Royal Commission’s recommended shift towards health professionals leading responses to time-critical mental health crises. However, we also acknowledge the occupation risks associated with this group of workers, and the potential mental health outcomes associated with the stressors and trauma they may face’, said Victorian Branch Chair, Dr Kerryn Rubin.

‘As a result of this, there is an increasing awareness amongst the mental health community for the possible consequences suffered by emergency services members and the impact that has on the individual and broader workforce.

‘We welcome the government’s commitment to supporting our first responders through today’s announcement.

‘These measures are a key step to ensuring Victorians can access quality mental health care, regardless of their location or circumstances.’

The RANZCP is further encouraged by the Government’s eagerness to move quickly on implementing the Royal Commission’s recommendation to establish local Adult and Older Adult Mental Health and Wellbeing Services in six priority areas in encouraging to those working in, and experiencing, our state’s mental health services.

‘The current challenges facing the mental health system will only be solved with a coordinated reform strategy which involves key stakeholders within the sector, which must involve psychiatrists and other mental health professional’, said Dr Rubin.

‘It is vital that people with a lived experience are equal partners in the design and delivery of these new services.

‘Our communities have long waited for a responsive and integrated mental health and wellbeing system, in which people receive most services locally and in the community throughout Victoria, close to their families, carers, supporters and networks.

‘It is vital that the governance arrangements of these new Local Services allow them to work seamlessly with the Area Mental Health Services.

‘This announcement will go a long way in gaining the confidence of our communities that the Victoria Government are serious about fixing the mental health system.

‘The new structure is an ambitious shift from current mental health system. It is positive to see the Victorian Government taking immediate action to begin the redesign of a system run down by decades of inadequate funding.

‘We look forward to further announcements from the Victorian Government to fulfill its promise of implementing all recommendations made by the Royal Commission to ensure that we build a safe and inclusive mental health system for all.’

ENQUIRIES: For more information, or to arrange an interview call Sarah Carr on +61 (0)3 9640 0646 or +61 437 315 911, or email

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