Regional communities won’t be afforded equal access to give evidence in the Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System, with just one hearing to be held outside of Melbourne.
We know there are significant gaps in access to support for rural and regional Victorians, with many people stuck on waitlists for months or forced to travel hundreds of kilometres to the next available service.
But just one day out of nineteen days of hearings, which begin today, will be held for regional Victorians. This is despite one third of the Victorians seeking support from mental health services living in rural and regional areas.
The Andrews Labor Government is denying regional communities our opportunity to give evidence and provide a complete picture to a Royal Commission which will determine important change in Victoria’s mental health system.
Mental illness does not discriminate by postcode and it certainly doesn’t stop at the tram tracks. Regional Victorians must have a fair opportunity to give evidence and have their say.
Emma Kealy MP
Shadow Minister for Mental Health