What the Royal Commission said
The Royal Commission called on the Victorian Government to:
- commission an independent review of Victoria’s mental health laws five to seven years after the enactment of the new Mental Health and Wellbeing Act.
- co-design terms of reference for the review that focus on ensuring mental health laws remain contemporary, effective and responsive to the needs and preferences of consumers, families, carers and supporters.
- as part of this review, consider the role and functions of the Mental Health Tribunal and Chief Psychiatrist to ensure they remain appropriate.
What are the opportunities?
The Royal Commission specified that the review should consider:
- the role and functions of the Mental Health Tribunal and Chief Psychiatrist. This is to see if any changes should be made following implementation of the new Act, including service system redesign and the new oversight bodies.
- aligning substituted decision-making frameworks for mental health with those for medical treatment decisions (under the Guardianship Administration Act 2019 and Medical Treatment Planning and Decisions Act 2016). This will limit situations where a person with decision-making capacity has decisions about their treatment, care and support made by someone else.
- making advance statements binding in all but very limited circumstances.
- allowing consumers to appoint a nominated decision-maker to make substitute decisions for a person when they do not have capacity, that can only be overridden in very limited circumstances.
What are we doing?
The Royal Commission recommended that the review be undertaken five to seven years after the new Act is passed.
The terms of reference of the review will be co-designed with consumers, families, carers and supporters.