Together with my staff and Advisory Council, I would like to wish you and your loved ones a very safe, healthy and happy festive season.

Our office will be closed Christmas, Boxing and New Year's days only. It can be a difficult time of year, so if you or someone you know experiences a crisis, please call Lifeline's 24-hour support service on 13 11 14.

2019 has been a momentous year for mental health in Australia with government initiatives such as Victoria's Royal Commission into Mental Health, the Productivity Commission inquiry and the Fifth National Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan.

The MHCC has been pleased to contribute to these, as well as many other efforts to improve our mental health system, and we look forward to the opportunities for reform and generational change that will emerge throughout 2020.

One in five Victorians experience some form of mental ill-health in any one year and now, with awareness of the importance of mental health growing, more people are speaking up about their lived experiences than ever before.

I am grateful to all who have contacted the MHCC about their concerns regarding public mental health services. In 2020 we will continue to work closely with consumers, families and carers and services to make our mental health system better for everyone involved.

Yours,

Dr Lynne Coulson Barr