Stakeholders have described their vision for a new Collaborative Centre during the final day of a symposium hosted by Mental Health Reform Victoria.

The interim report of the Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System recommended the establishment of a Collaborative Centre for Mental Health and Wellbeing.

The online symposium gave participants the opportunity to contribute their ideas for the new Collaborative Centre. Participants at the symposium included people with lived experience, mental health service providers, and academics and researchers.

Local and international speakers also shared their experiences of building and operating similar centres.

Royal Commission Chair Penny Armytage said Victoria’s Collaborative Centre will be at the heart of the future mental health system.

“The Commission’s vision is that the centre will bring together expertise in lived experience, interdisciplinary research and clinical and non-clinical care,” Ms Armytage said.

“It will be a place of learning, where knowledge and research are translated and shared.

Speakers covered topics including the need for evidence-based practice, workforce development, collaborative interdisciplinary teams and the centrality and leadership of lived experience within that.

The Victorian Government has allocated $2.2 million to start the design process for the Collaborative Centre.

The Symposium is part of a series of engagement activities organised by Mental Health Reform Victoria.

Ms Armytage said the event marks an important milestone on the path to reforming Victoria’s mental health system.

“We are asking people to come together to work in new ways. Today’s event is a first, and a critical step in the journey.” Mental Health Reform Victoria will make a report on the main outcomes of the Symposium publicly available.

The Symposium was held on 15 and 16 December, and more engagement that builds on the Symposium will continue through to and after the Royal Commission’s final report next year.