Do you need access to mental health advocacy, mental health support or legal help services?
Whether or not you are making a complaint about a Victorian public mental health and wellbeing service or provider, you might want some support. The organisations listed below are free to use and may be able to help you. If you would like to speak with us regarding the option best suited to your needs, call us on 1800 246 054.
Mental Health Advocacy services
Example Issue: “I am on a compulsory treatment order. I want an advocate to help me talk to my treating team to make sure my views and preferences are heard.”
Support: Independent Mental Health Advocacy (IMHA):
IMHA supports people who are receiving compulsory mental health treatment to make decisions and have as much say as possible about their assessment, treatment and recovery.
Example Issue: “I am in hospital with my consent (voluntary). I want to know more about my rights and have more say in my treatment.”
Support: Victorian Mental Illness Awareness Council (VMIAC):
VMIAC is the peak Victorian organisation for people with a lived experience of mental ill health or psychological, social and emotional distress.
It is an advocacy organisation run by consumers, for consumers.
Example Issue: “My family member or friend is in hospital. I need support and want to know more about my rights as a carer.”
Tandem is the Victorian peak body representing and advocating for carers, family and friends supporting people living with mental health problems or psychological, social and emotional distress.
Example Issue: “I have concerns about/ or need advice about guardianship/ Power of attorney/ medical treatment decision making.”
Support: Office of Public Advocate (OPA)
The OPA safeguards the rights and interests of people with disability, including Victorians receiving treatment from a mental health service or provider.
Example Issue: “I want to appeal my Treatment Order. How do I do that? Can I take a support person with me?”
Support: Mental Health Tribunal (MHT)
The MHT conducts hearings to decide whether people need compulsory treatment.
The MHT is independent, and not part of a hospital or clinic.
You can take a support person with you to the hearing.
Example Issue: “I am on a Compulsory Treatment Order and need to talk to a lawyer.” “I need representation at the Mental Health Tribunal.”
Support: Victoria Legal Aid (VLA)
VLA can provide free legal advice to people on compulsory treatment orders looking to have a say in their assessment, treatment, and recovery.
Some people are eligible for free legal advice and representation.
Example Issue: “I want advice about a legal issue and whether I can take legal action against a mental health service or provider.”
Support: Mental Health Legal Centre (MHLC):
The MHLC provides free and confidential legal services to Victorians who engage with the mental health system. This includes Tribunal hearing representation and help to make Advance Statements.
Example Issue: “I want to know about other legal services and supports.”
Support: Federation of Community Legal Centres - Independent community organisations that provide free legal services to the public.
Find a Lawyer - Legal referral services to find private lawyers in different areas.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Communities:
- Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (VACCHO)
The peak body for Community controlled health and wellbeing sector of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Victorians.
- Yarning Safe’N’Strong
A 24 x 7 free and confidential counselling service for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
An Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander crisis support line, led by Community for the Community.
- LGBTIQ+ Health Australia
The national peak organisation providing health-related programs and services for the LGBTQIA+ Community.
- Rainbow Door
A free specialist
helpline providing support to all LGBTIQA+ Victorians, their friends and family.
Provides Australia-wide LGBTIQ+ peer support and referral for people wanting to talk about a range of issues including sexuality, identity, gender, bodies, feelings or relationships.
- Carer Gateway
A program providing free services and support for carers.
- Mental Health Carers Australia
An advocacy group concerned with the well-being and promotion of carers.
The peak body representing familes and friends supporting people living with mental health problems or psychological, social and emotional distress.
- Ask Izzy
A website that connects people with support services including housing, food, everyday things, counselling etc.
- Beyond Blue
Provides information and support to help everyone in Australia.
Provides support for 12-25 year olds with mental health, physical health (including sexual health), alcohol and other drug services, as well as work and study support
- Head to Health
For Victorians experiencing social, emotional and psychological distress or mental ill health.
For people with complex mental health issues or distress, their carers and families.
- Suicideline Victoria
24/7 counselling and support for Victorians at risk of suicide or experiencing mental health distress.
- Lifeline Australia
24-hour suicide prevention support for Australians experiencing social, emotional and psychological distress or mental ill health.