24 October 2018

Royal Commission into Mental Health

This year, 3000 Australians will take their own lives. Countless more are trying to cope.

If it were any other cause or condition, we would call it what it is: a national emergency.

Suicide and mental health conditions recognise no difference in background or bearing.

It’s new mums struggling to cope.

It’s men feeling alone and isolated.

It’s young kids who don’t know where to turn.

It’s sons and daughters, mums and dads, best mates and work colleagues.

And it’s the leading cause of death for Australians aged between 15 and 44.

Last year alone, we lost 621 Victorians to suicide.

And this year, one in five Victorians will experience a mental illness.

Over the course of their lifetime, at least one in every two Victorians will bear that same burden.

The truth is, we don’t have the best mental health system we could – or should – have.

When there are Victorians still struggling, and families still suffering, we can do more.

We must do more.

It’s why a re-elected Labor Government will establish a Royal Commission into Mental Health.

It will be the first of its kind in Australia, and work will begin within our first 100 days, including the appointment of Commissioners and the announcement of the Terms of Reference.

Ours will be a wide-ranging Commission that focuses on the quality and cost of care across our system.

It will address early intervention, and how we can better support families and our mental health workers.

It will hear the stories of those who we have failed. It will find the answers we so sorely need.

And it will save lives.