VMIAC’S ELECTION PLATFORM
Please note: Some of the content and images on this page may be distressing for some people. We show images of restraint and discuss a range of traumatic issues, including sexual violence, experienced by mental health consumers/survivors.
Victoria’s state election is coming: 24 November 2018
Let’s make it matter
Election issues by and for consumers and survivors of mental health services
VMIAC is proud to launch our election platform for the 2018 Victorian state election. The campaign is called ‘Hurt in hospitals, casualties in the community’. Strong words, but we know they are justified.
- We call on all political candidates and parties to commit to real changes that stop us being hurt in the systems that are supposed to help us.
- We call on consumers and our supporters across Victoria to raise your voices with us. Our issues are serious. Our rights matter. And we all vote.
Over the coming months this page will grow as we add:
- Consumer stories and videos about the issues
- Campaign activities and events
- Resources for use in campaigning
- Responses to mental health campaign announcements by the different parties
- Election news
Show your support: become a VMIAC member. It’s free, and it includes opportunities to have your say and make a difference.
Our election platform
VMIAC’s election platform details some of the biggest issues affecting our community. It includes:
- The 3 big issues
- Our position on each issue
- Calls for change on each issue
- Background information about each issue
The platform is based on decades of advocacy with and for our consumer/survivor community.
Why this campaign?
Things are getting worse, not better.
Mental health is always in the media. Governments talking about what a great job they’re doing. Health services and psychiatrists talking about their innovative research and programs.
But we’re the peak body that represents the most silenced, distressed and marginalised people affected by mental health problems. And our community is saying loud and clear that governments are not listening, services are not helping, and things are getting worse, not better.
We can speak for ourselves
For too long, governments and the community have listened to the mental health sector, or others, about what we need. Of course, they have a right to speak up.
But we can speak for ourselves—we don’t want, or need, others to speak on our behalf. And we have something different to say.
Our basic needs are not being met. Thousands of us are harmed in devastating ways every year—and it’s not getting better.
We’re not campaigning for profits, a pay rise, or a surplus on our bottom line. We’re asking to be safe, treated with dignity, to be free from violence and abuse, to have our fundamental rights respected, and access to reasonable services that we have a right to.
The three big issues
1. Hurt in hospital
Consumers continue to experience serious physical and psychological harms in Victorian mental health hospital units.
The mental health sector is not accountable enough, and government provides little transparency about the harms that happen behind the locked doors of hospital units.
We call for:
- A major new initiative to limit predictable harms from compulsory and restrictive treatment
- Fund a pilot peer-run crisis service based on successful overseas services. It’s time to try something contemporary, safe, effective and different.
Did you know?
2. Sexual violence in hospital
In the midst of our distress, people admitted to Victorian mental health hospital units are still experiencing sexual harassment and assault. This is despite more than 25 years of reports on this issue.
Victorian hospitals & successive governments have failed to protect consumers from sexual violence while in hospital. The recent report by the Mental Health Complaints Commissioner is damning—and we need urgent, large-scale action.
We call for:
- An acknowledgement and apology to survivors
- Responding to The Right to be Safe report: Act now to implement our recommended urgent safety actions
- Responding to The Right to be Safe report: Commit to address implementation risks and fund at least $40m to begin implementation
- Address the needs of historical survivors
- Increase transparency and accountability for staff perpetrators and staff negligence
Did you know?
3. Casualties in the community
Thousands of distressed Victorians can no longer access any non-clinical community support or rehabilitation services. People with psychosocial disability are being locked out of the NDIS, and the community support sector has been decimated.
We call for:
- Hold the Commonwealth government accountable for NDIS failings
- Fund a new kind of state-wide service: ‘Walk-In community support’
- Fund VMIAC to provide independent advocacy and peer support to people struggling to access the NDIS
- Fund a coproduced project to better understand and address widespread support, habilitation and rehabilitation gaps following five years of disruptive sector change
Did you know?
These are all broken promises about the NDIS…
- Get your views on the record: Have Your Say Election BBQ on Thursday 23 August
- Join us to get your views on the record for the election campaign.
We’ll have the BBQ running, and the VMIAC team to chat with.
We’ve organised a film-maker to record video and audio recordings of people having their say. You can also write your message or use artwork if you prefer. You can be anonymous, or use your name—it’s up to you.
You say it, we’ll share it! We’ll take all the consumer messages and add them to this website, put them on social media, and show them to politicians.
- Get active locally: Keep an eye on this site for campaigning tips and resources, including ways to have your say with your local election candidates.
- Join us: Please think about becoming a VMIAC member. It’s free, and every new member increases the influence of our collective voice.
- Social media: Follow us on Twitter and Facebook, and help raise awareness by retweeting and sharing our posts
On the campaign trail
- VMIAC will be seeking meetings with all the major political parties to discuss our concerns and ask for commitment to change.
- We’ll review mental health policies as they’re announced and share news with you
- We’ll seek out opportunities to raise issues in the media
- Save the date for the VMIAC election forum: Wednesday 24 October 2018
Media release for election campaign launch: 7 August 2018
Maggie Toko, CEO, Ph (03) 9380 3900
Indigo Daya, Human Rights Advisor, (03) 9380 3900