News

Still time to have a say

By Seymour Telegraph

Seymour and district residents are being reminded public submissions to the Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System are being taken until July 5.

During the past two months, the Royal Commission ran more than 60 consultation sessions in more than 20 metropolitan, rural and regional areas, including Seymour.

Commission chair Penny Armytage said more than 1600 Victorians attended the community consultation sessions to share their experience and ideas.

She said there was a lot of support for the commission.

‘‘People came with a strong commitment to contribute to improving the system and there was this warm, collective humanity at the sessions, which was very heartening,’’ she said.

Ms Armytage said there was good representation at the sessions from all areas of the community, including people with lived experience, carers and families, mental health professionals, GPs, emergency service personnel and service providers.

She said several common themes were highlighted at the sessions, including little or no services in the gap between GPs and crisis support.

Ms Armytage said one of the consistent challenges was about people being told they were not sick enough to get help.

‘‘There is this incredible frustration in not being able to get their mental health needs responded to,’’ she said.

‘‘Many people also shared stories about a highly committed workforce doing its best to provide services and support, often under difficult circumstances.’’

Ms Armytage said the commission’s job was to come up with practical and implementable recommendations which would make real improvements to the future mental health system.

She said hearing from the communities had been an important first step.

The commission starts its public hearings in the first week of July at the Melbourne Town Hall.

Submissions are open until July 5 and can be made at rcvmhs.vic.gov.au

The commission can be contacted using a phone interpreter service on 0370053010.

If you need support, call Lifeline on 131114, the suicide callback service on 1300659467 or visit ReachOut.com