Psychologists welcome Victoria’s mental health reform agenda

The Australian Psychological Society (APS) has welcomed the interim report of the Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System, congratulating the Victorian Government on its commitment to reforming Victoria’s mental health system.

APS President Ros Knight echoed the Commission’s statement that the system was broken and the status quo must change.

“The time is now to transform access, funding, training and resources system-wide to ensure delivery of the best mental health services, and to improve the lives of many Victorians.”

“Across Victoria, the demand for mental health services and psychosocial support far exceeds supply. Just over one per cent of the population receive services, yet approximately three per cent of Victorians experience a severe mental illness.”

“We are pleased to see the Commission has produced an interim report which sets a positive tone, with recommendations that embed consumer leadership, design and delivery.”

“We are particularly encouraged by the Commission’s recognition of the extensive educational pathway for psychologists, and we agree that harnessing psychology graduates would be of huge benefit to the system.

“As the report says, psychologists play a central role in the assessment, support and treatment of people living with mental illness, particularly in multidisciplinary teams.

“We look forward to working with the Mental Health Implementation Office to respond to the Commission’s recommendations, and to ensure the best use of psychologists in implementing this essential reform.

“The APS looks forward to the Commission’s final recommendations, including for those involved in the criminal justice system, the social service system, those who are homeless and those who are unemployed,” she said.

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