Anyone who is concerned about someone’s experience with a public mental health service in Victoria can make a complaint. However, if your complaint is about someone else’s experience the MHCC usually needs to seek that person’s consent to the complaint. We can still provide you with information and support, so please contact us.

We will discuss with you whether: 

  • the consumer consents to the complaint
  • we can deal with the complaint without the consumer’s consent
  • there are other options for resolving your concerns.

The Mental Health Act 2014 (Vic) allows us to accept complaints without the consumer’s consent if we are satisfied that: 

  • the person making the complaint has a genuine interest in the wellbeing of the consumer
  • there are special circumstances for accepting the complaint without the consumer’s consent; and 
  • accepting the complaint will not be detrimental to the consumer’s wellbeing. 

Accepting a complaint without the consumer’s consent is a serious decision. We decide on a case-by-case basis considering the mental health principles and our functions. Special circumstances may be where: 

  • the consumer does not have capacity to consent to a complaint at the time 
  • the consumer is under 16, and a parent or guardian makes the complaint
  •  a guardian makes the complaint
  • the complaint is from a family member or carer and there is a risk of serious harm to the person and it is appropriate for the MHCC to deal with the complaint

If we accept a complaint without the consumer’s consent, the Act says we must notify the consumer and involve them in resolving the complaint whenever possible, as early as possible. This is to uphold their rights and the mental health principles of the Act. 

Reviewed 09 April 2021

Mental Health Complaints Commissioner (MHCC)

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