Local services lacking

Penny Armytage at the Healesville session.

 A Healesville consultation session on mental health reform revealed concerns about the loss of local services.

Penny Armytage, the chair for the Royal Commission into Victoria’s mental health system, attended the Tuesday 14 May forum.

“We had a strong response from the Healesville community today with a large number of people being heard on issues that were of concern to them,” she said.

“The efforts that people have gone to get themselves to these sessions and talk about matters that are very personal and often quite painful should not be underestimated.”

Ms Armytage said the forum heard “very clearly” that people were concerned about the loss of local service provision.

“Participants also expressed concern about the 10-session model not being enough and the need for earlier intervention and support.

“It’s a challenge even for local doctors to navigate the system and ensure they can access local, effective and timely support.”

Ms Armytage said there were some positives related to the commitment of staff, but a need to focus on retention and support.

She encouraged everyone to continue the conversation and make a submission online at www.rcvmhs.vic.gov.au.

“People can also register to follow our progress and find out about future activities, including the hearings,” she said.

The commission will deliver its interim report in November this year, with a final report in October next year.

The State Government has already committed to implementing each and every one of the recommendations from the Royal Commission.