Message from Maggie and Jake

Kia Ora everyone and welcome to the MHCC 'It's Okay to Complain' campaign launch. I would like to start by acknowledging the traditional custodians of the land on which we're meeting today and for me that's the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation and acknowledge the elders past present and emerging and that their land was never ceded. My name is Maggie Toko - I'm the assistant commissioner for lived experience and engagement and I'll be presenting today along with Jake Mclaughlin, the manager of strategy and communications at the MHCC. What is the Mental Health Complaints Commissioner? - We're  the Victorian independent specialist body set up to safeguard people's rights, resolve complaints and recommend service and system improvements. We're driven by lived experience and the MHCC works with consumers families carers and support people and mental health service staff to resolve people's complaints. What is the purpose of the campaign? - it's to increase awareness of the right to complain to ensure consumers and carers are aware of their right to complain and feel supported to do so. It's to encourage local complaints processes - so encourage consumers and carers to complain directly to the service that first start first stop to promote a positive complaints culture to ensure everyone involved feels encouraged and empowered to participate in a positive complaints culture and to improve access to the MHCC so to increase the accessibility and awareness of the MHCC for consumers and carers.

So what is a positive complaints culture? -  a positive complaints culture is underpinned by a culture where complaints are embraced as an essential part of continuous improvement in the public mental health system, so we recognize that complaints help us build a better system for the future and that when carers and consumers make a complaint, they're sharing valuable lived experience which can help us build towards a better system for the future for consumers and carers. Positive complaints culture is also one where consumers and carers are aware of their right to complain which is why we're launching the 'It's Okay to Complain campaign' - umm... they're they're also aware that complaints can lead to service improvements as well and they're aware of how to make a complaint and that they can complain directly to the service or they can come to the MHCC if they choose. In a positive complaints culture, a high number of local complaints in a particular service in the public mental health system could be a sign of a positive complaints culture where people consumers and carers are encouraged to speak up. They're aware of their right to complain - they know how to complain and complaints lead to positive service improvements which naturally encourage consumers and carers to speak up more often. Who is the campaign for? - it's for consumers who are not aware of their right to complain or afraid to complain due to stigma or other concerns - to carers families and support people who are unsure or unaware of their right to complain and staff and public mental health services who are looking to promote a positive complaints culture in their service. So one of the main parts of the 'It's Okay to Complain' campaign umm... is posters so the MHCC has designed a suite of posters tailored for different audiences which will be sending out and distributing to inpatient units across our Victoria's public mental health system in the coming weeks. The posters are intended to be placed on walls around inpatient units and we also have a specific poster for staff which we hope will be featured heavily in staff rooms within services as well. So we have different types of posters that focus on a range of different consumer and carer groups umm... so that's younger people, older people, members of the LGBTIQA+ community as well as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and including specific posters that address both consumers and carers as well. As I mentioned before we also have a poster dedicated for staff at public mental health services which has umm... has content specifically made for clinicians and staff in services as well. So what you'll find on each of these posters are one or two QR codes on each of the posters which you can scan or consumers and carers can scan to be taken to a video to hear from different people from different perspectives about why It's Okay to Complain and and you'll see videos featured from all of those groups I mentioned before as well. So we really encourage you to make sure the posters are featured prominently in inpatient units and that you promote them with consumers and carers as well as staff and make sure people scan the QR code if they want to learn more. It will provide them umm... you know obviously a perspective and a story from someone with lived experience but also direct them towards the resources they might need to build their awareness of the right to complain as well as know how to make a complaint and that they can complain directly to the service or to the MHCC if they wish. Really importantly umm... this campaign has been designed in close consultation with people with lived experience including consumers and carers and we've worked really closely with staff across victoria's public mental health system as well to bring this campaign to life in addition to the posters you'll also see postcards which we'll be sending out as well and these are to be placed wherever consumers or carers might be within your services or you can hand them directly to consumers and carers umm.. during the process. Similar to the posters these postcards have a QR code on them which you know directs consumers and carers towards tailored content and videos as well that shares stories about why it's Okay to Complain from different perspectives and directs them towards the right resources if they are ready to make a complaint. We've really designed this campaign to be as accessible as possible for people and we really do want to encourage people to complain however on the other side of the coin we also want to support services in improving their local complaints process which is a really important part of developing a positive complaints culture. I would really encourage you to get involved with the complaint Self-Assessment tool which we released in December 2021 -this is a really simple comprehensive online tool that's been informed and co-designed with people with lived experience as well as services in the public mental health system to provide a comprehensive self-assessment which is anonymous as well of your local complaints process and it's for any staff member in any role in victoria's public mental health system. If you want to use the tool and review the entire complaints process local complaints process at your service you can do so but if you're interested in a specific part of the process you can also just do that as well. We also encourage you to jump into the tool - there's a lot of resources and engagement material as well that you can download and use to support discussions in your meetings as well and hopefully drive positive change umm... and improvement to your complaints process and if you're if you're wondering about ways that you can make your complaints process umm... a bit more accessible for people with lived experience this is an excellent way to do it. As I said we co-designed this this tool with people with lived experience and you'll find a lot of practical - you know pieces of advice, constraints, discussion points, barriers as well as examples of what good practice looks like already in place across victoria's public mental health system

So the next steps - please display the posters across your service or share the campaign on social media and contact the MHCC at you if you want any additional resources or have any questions so if the posters get torn or worn out - umm... just contact us and we'll send you some more. Uhh.. we'll be visiting Jake and i will be visiting most inpatient units in Victoria over the coming months and we hope to be able to have a chat with all the nurse unit managers, have a look around your units and share any further information we have and please try the complaint Self-Assessment tool to review any part of the complaints process and access resources and good practice examples and I might add just one final thing which is that it's a courtesy of IMHA (Independent Mental Health Advocacy) who are delivering the posters to all the inpatient units and I'd like to put a big thank you out to IMHA for doing that for us. So how can you support the campaign? Uhh... we really want as many people as possible across the public mental health system whether you're a staff member or consumers and carers to get involved because everyone can play a role in driving a positive complaints culture and it's really simple to do so if you do want to promote the campaign obviously as Maggie said make sure the posters are displayed prominently across your service as well and do ask us if you need replacement copies or additional copies as well but you can also support the campaign on social media and we've tried to make it as easy as possible for everyone to do that so we've prepared an It's Okay to Complain social media kit which we'll send out and will also be available on our website which includes social media graphics and tiles that you can post on your social media channels umm ...whether they're your personal or work channel as well or corporate channel and it gives you all the content you need to share and promote this campaign -promote the right for people to complain build awareness about what a positive complaints culture is and be part of that change as well so really appreciate your support in doing that and as always if you have any feedback um or questions at all um you can contact us at if you'd like to get in contact with us and finally I'd like to thank you for joining our presentation today - I hope you found it very useful and thank you for supporting the 'It's Okay to Complain' campaign