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Reducing inequalities and developing tailored, culturally safe mental health services

Our submission to the Royal Commission into Victoria's Mental Health System highlights the different treatment and services people receive in different parts of the state, and the need for tailored and culturally safe services.

Monday 16 September 2019 at 12:00 am

This is the sixth article in a series drawing on our six key areas of focus from our submission to the Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System.

In Victoria, people get different mental health treatment and services depending on where they live and there are insufficient and inadequate services tailored for groups within our community.

The Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System presents an opportunity to fix these inequalities.

‘Mental health issues affect the whole community but not everyone has the same level of access to care and support,’ said Rowan McRae, Executive Director for Civil Justice, Access and Equity.

Brendan, a member of our lived experience advisory group, Speaking from Experience, told us, ‘resources in regional areas are so small that waiting times are unavoidable, even though you are acutely at risk.’

‘A person’s postcode should not affect the treatment and services available to them,’ said Rowan.

‘Services should also be tailored and culturally safe for groups within our community, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, culturally and linguistically diverse communities, LGBTIQ people, older people, women and young people.’

Our submission to the Royal Commission highlights the inequalities experienced by these communities and Victorians in regional areas.

‘The experiences of our clients and consumers show that more needs to be done to invest in mental health and legal models that work right across the state,’ said Rowan.

‘Importantly, people from these communities should be at the forefront of designing services that have the flexibility to meet their needs.’

Our submission notes that the inflexibility of the mental health system can be magnified for people with diverse needs, and more needs to be done to provide services which are tailored and responsive to someone’s individual needs.

We are looking forward to working with the Royal Commission to ensure people with diverse needs have an opportunity to inform the design of a new mental health system.

More information

Read our submission to the Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System.

Read more on the Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System website.