About the Mental Health Act Consumer Resources Project

About the Mental Health Act

The Mental Health and Wellbeing Act 2022 commenced on 1 September 2023 to replace the previous Mental Health Act 2014. The Mental Health and Wellbeing Act 2022 is the new law that governs how people who experience mental health challenges or distress are supposed to be treated. It is used mostly by:

  • Mental health inpatient units.
  • Clinical services in the community (i.e., CATT teams, outpatient clinics).
  • Police and emergency services.

Improving the 2014 Act was one of the recommendations in the final report (published March 2021) by the Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System. The 2022 Act was drafted by the Victorian Department of Health. You can read more about the 2022 Act here.

The VMIAC Mental Health and Wellbeing Act 2022 Resources Project

VMIAC has been funded by the Department of Health to support the implementation of the new Mental Health and Wellbeing Act 2022, by developing resources and delivering community education sessions to mental health service consumers.

The project is being conducted by a Project Coordinator at VMIAC, with the support of VMIAC policy staff, and legal expertise supplied by the Mental Health Legal Centre. Consultations with mental health consumers to find out what they want to know about the Act is the first step in this project.

What will this project accomplish?

The project goals are to:

  • Create accessible information about the Act for a diverse range of Victorian consumers on issues they identify are important.
  • Educate consumers, particularly people who access mental health support voluntarily, on their rights under the new Act.
  • Support consumers to self-advocate for their rights under the new Act.
  • Follow consumer centred co-design and production processes throughout every stage of the project.

By the end of this project, VMIAC will have:

  • developed a suite of resources to explain mental health consumer rights under the new Act, and other relevant laws and guidelines. The resources will be co-designed with consumers and may include factsheets or postcards, videos and other materials to be hosted on a webpage.
  • Held 18 community education sessions across Victoria to launch these materials and inform consumers and community members about the new Act and other relevant laws and guidelines.

How will this project be run?

There are three phases of this project:   

  • Phase 1 was completed in February 2024, and consisted of six consumer consultation sessions held in different locations across Victoria. This helped VMIAC understand the major questions and concerns consumers have about the Act.
  • Phase 2 runs until late June 2024 and consists of developing the resources and education session content. To ensure the resources reflect the needs of Victoria’s diverse communities, VMIAC is establishing a Diverse Consumer Advisory Group (DCAG) to provide guidance to project staff. VMIAC will also be engaging graphic designers and videographers to make sure the resources look and feel right.
  • Phase 3 will run through July and August 2024, and consist of a series of community education sessions run by VMIAC and the Mental health Legal Centre. Sessions will be in metro, regional, and rural areas. Online resources, such as videos, will also be made available to consumers during this phase.
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