The Victorian Government recently announced extra funding of $6.2 million over four years to expand the work of the Victorian Mental Illness Awareness Council (VMIAC).
New system foundations

VMIAC is Victoria’s peak advocacy organisation for people with a lived experience of mental health challenges or emotional distress.  

The Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System called for people with lived experience to be at the centre of system reform.   

Integrating lived experience voices at the centre of reform and design of Victoria’s mental health and wellbeing system will ensure services are accessible and meet the needs of those who use them.  

The additional funding will help VMIAC develop policy positions, undertake research and build leadership across the consumer sector.  

VMIAC is also funded to manage a consumer participation register.

This provides a supportive process for consumers to participate in the planning, development and implementation of the reforms. 

VMIAC has a leading voice at the reform table as co-chair of the Department of Health’s Lived Experience Advisory Group (LEAG) and representation on the Expert Advisory Group for the new Mental Health and Wellbeing Act.  

During the covid-19 pandemic, VMIAC received funding to establish its Check-In program. The program offers peer-based connection and support for people with lived experience affected by the pandemic.