WHISE welcomes final report of the Mental Health Royal Commission

Opportunity to support women’s mental health in implementation of recommendations

Women’s Health in the South East (WHISE) welcomed the tabling of the final report from Victoria’s Royal Commission into Mental Health and its significant contribution to social reform.

The final report is a major statement of reform on Victoria’s mental health system – a system that is widely recognised as in crisis. 

Across 65 recommendations, the final report calls for major systemic and structural reform to reset the system to meet the expectations of today’s health system and community, as well as tomorrow’s. As testament to the hope that the community has for the Commission’s work, some 12,500 submissions were received over two years.

“The recognition of the role of primary prevention and health promotion in mental health and wellbeing is welcome, as is the recognition that inequality and multiple forms of discrimination has on mental health” says Kit McMahon, CEO of WHISE.

“We also strongly support the specific recommendations to increase the safety of women in acute care settings and the recognition of the horrendous rates of gender-based violence in mental health facilities.” 

WHISE knows that women have specific needs for any reformed mental health system. 

“We are disappointed that the impact of gender as a social determinant of health, on mental health is not reflected more broadly in the report. While the report identifies the impact of the pandemic, bushfires, the needs of carers and parents and impact of inequality, it does not (beyond the recommendation on acute care settings) draw any conclusions about the reforms for women,” says Ms. McMahon.

“We see real opportunities when the recommendations are implemented to address this though, and look forward to working with government to see women’s specific needs addressed.

“The Commission’s work is invaluable on so many levels. Connecting it to the reforms through family violence, investment and work in women’s health, and the prevention workforce is one of the ways that we can really address the gap.”