The Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission (MWHC) operates under the Mental Health and Wellbeing Act 2022 (the Act).
The Act commenced on 1 September 2023, replacing the previous Mental Health Act 2014.
The objectives of the MHWC under the Act are to:
(a) Ensure the Victorian Government is accountable for:
- The performance, quality and safety of the mental health and wellbeing system.
- Ensuring the mental health and wellbeing system promotes the health and wellbeing of consumers, families, carers and supports the mental health and wellbeing workforce.
(b) Support and promote the leadership and participation of people with lived experience in decision-making processes.
(c) Provide a complaints handling system and promote effective complaint handling by mental health and wellbeing service providers.
(d) Reduce stigma related to mental illness.
(e) Promote, support and protect the rights of consumers, families, carers and supporters.
Under the Act, the MHWC has a range of functions and powers to achieve these objectives including:
- A function to handle complaints about publicly funded mental health and wellbeing services in Victoria.
- The ability to investigate matters including powers to investigate a matter without a complaint being made.
- Powers to conduct broad inquiries into any matter relating to its objectives or functions.
- A role to promote and support compliance with the Act and report significant breaches of the Act to the Health Secretary.
- Expanded powers to deal with complaints by carers and families about their own experiences, where the requirements of the Act are met.
- Responsibility to monitor and publicly report on the mental health and wellbeing system, with substantial powers to obtain and share data.