Policy issues

Government policies on mental health are far from good enough.

Many policies fail to respect or address the concerns of consumers and survivors. Other policies read well on paper, but there is no accountability to make sure that mental health services follow the policy.


As the peak organisation for consumers and survivors in Victoria, we are continually seeking ways to influence government policies and sector practice through systemic advocacy.

We do our policy work in many different ways, including:

  • Analysing new policy directions and reports
  • Submissions to governments, inquiries and royal commissions
  • Reports
  • Research surveys
  • Campaigns in the media and social media
  • Actively participating in government and other influential committees
  • Meeting with politicians

In 2018 we surveyed consumers and survivors about the policy issues that matter most. These were the top priority issues identified, in priority order:

1. Compulsory treatment

  • Informed consent
  • Autonomy, bodily integrity and self determination
  • Supported decision making
  • Dignity

2. Safety, abuse, assault, cruel, inhuman & degrading treatment

  • Safety, not to be retraumatised, mental & physical safety
  • Cruel, inhumane & degrading treatment in MH services

3. Seclusion & restraint

  • Chemical restraint

4. Adherence to Mental Health Laws

  • Inadequate protection of human rights
  • Inconsistent adherence to mental health or human rights legislation
  • There is a lack of accountability and oversight under the Act
  • The Act fails to ensure procedural fairness

7. Discrimination

8. Gaps in care for trauma & abuse survivors

9. Less/no access to community support services (NGOs)

10. Housing and homelessness

11. Issues & impacts of ECT

12. Reduced life expectancy for consumers (10-20yrs)

13. Sexual violence in hospital

14. Myths and facts about mental illness and violence

15. Psychiatric medication & side effects

16. Police Misconduct and Accountability