Policy and Advocacy

Royal Commission into Mental Health

 

Background

A Royal Commission is a major government public inquiry into an important issue. In recent years in Australia, Royal Commissions have involved investigations into police and government corruption, the Black Saturday bushfires, organised crime and child abuse, to name a few.  These commissions have forced powerful, and sometimes corrupt public officials to tell the truth.

A Royal Commissioner has a lot of power but is limited to the ‘Terms of Reference’ (ToR) of the Commission. The ToR specify what issues the Royal Commission is required and authorised to inquire into. An issue cannot be considered by a Royal Commission unless it is included in the ToR.

A Royal Commission can provide advice, information, research and recommendations to government about a particular policy problem. The government can make some or all recommendations into law. 

 

Victorian Government Royal Commission Inquiry into Mental Health

Earlier this month, we invited our members to provide input into the first ever Royal Commission into Mental Health in our state.

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

An issue cannot be considered by the Royal Commission unless it is included in the Terms of Reference (ToR) and member feedback was used to guide the Victorian Government on the development of the ToR.

AMA Victoria encouraged members to participate and provide their own individual responses to the ToR consultation. AMA Victoria also submitted its own organisational response. Thanks to those members that have contributed to our submission to the ToR consultation. 

To read our full submission to the Terms of Reference consultation, click HERE.

AMA Victoria will continue to participate in targeted roundtable discussions hosted by the Victorian Government throughout February, along with other mental health stakeholders.  

 

What’s next?

The submissions to the ToR consultation have now closed. The Victorian Government has received more than 7,000 responses. The Victorian Government will announce the ToR and the names of the Commissioners in February 2019. 

Once established, the Royal Commission is expected to release information on how the inquiry will be conducted, including how the community can contribute to the Royal Commission’s work. The Royal Commission will provide recommendations to the Victorian Government within two years of commencement.  We will keep you updated.

Questions/concerns? Contact Senior Policy Adviser, Nada Martinovic on (03) 9280 8773 or nadam@amavic.com.au

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