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Everybody has the right to make a complaint about a public mental health service in Victoria. If something doesn’t feel right, you can make a complaint directly to the service or to the MHCC.

Complaints are an essential part of how the public mental health system continuously improves, and your complaint could help lead to service improvements for yourself and others.

The ‘It’s OK to Complain!’ campaign (the campaign) aims to challenge the stigma that exists around making a complaint, and encourages consumers and carers to speak up to help improve the system for everybody.

Remember, when you share a complaint, you are sharing valuable lived experience that might help identify ways to build a better system for the future.

Watch the campaign launch presentation below to hear about the campaign and why it's important to increase awareness of the right to complain and promote a positive complaints culture.

Driving a positive complaints culture

At the MHCC, complaints are viewed as a valuable opportunity to raise awareness, tackle stigma and drive change and improvements across Victoria’s public mental health sector.

The campaign aims to promote a positive complaints culture and has been designed in consultation with services, as well as consumers and carers with lived experience, to address the barriers around speaking up and making a complaint in the public mental health system.

Information for consumers and carers

As a consumer or carer, it is important that you are aware of your right to complain about public mental health services. You should feel supported and empowered to make a complaint, voice your concerns and be heard. If something isn’t right, speak up, your voice matters - it’s okay to complain!

Speaking up can improve the mental health system for you and other people. You can make a complaint to the service directly or contact the MHCC.

Complaints can help improve your personal experience as well as help to build a better system for the future. By speaking up, you can contribute to improving a system that is driven by lived experience.

Information for services

Through our education and engagement, complaints resolution practices and local complaints reporting activities, we work with services to build their capacity to develop a positive complaints culture. This is a culture where consumers and carers are encouraged to raise their concerns and where services provide effective responses to complaints and initiate service improvements where identified.

The Complaints Self-Assessment Tool can help you self-assess and review your internal complaints handling process, and identify ways you can work towards a positive complaints culture. Upon completion, the tool generates a report identifying improvements that can be made and provides examples of good practice that have been driven by lived experience.

Frequently asked questions

  • A positive complaints culture recognises the valuable role complaints play in helping shape a better mental health system for the future. Complaints help to drive improvements to public mental health services that are informed by lived experience.

    A high number of complaints within a service may be an indicator of a positive culture where consumers and carers are encouraged to speak up, and their complaints lead to service improvements.

  • If you have concerns about a public mental health service as a consumer or carer, you have the right to make a complaint. You can do this by raising it with the service or alternatively, contact the MHCC. Many concerns (for example, concerns about communication) can be resolved very quickly by going directly to the service.

    You can access the list of all public mental health services in Victoria hereExternal Link . However, if you prefer to make a complaint to the MHCC, or would like our support to make a complaint to the service, please contact us.

  • Everybody has the right to make a complaint in Victoria’s public mental health system. Services must take reasonable steps to ensure there is no detrimental action taken against you for making a complaint. If you would like support to make a complaint, or believe you have experienced a negative consequence because you made a complaint, please contact us.

  • Making a complaint directly to the service may allow for a quicker resolution to your concerns. However, if you would like our support to make a complaint to the service, please contact us.

  • If you work at a public mental health service in Victoria and you would like to request additional copies of the ‘It’s OK to Complain!’ posters, please email us at info@mhcc.vic.gov.au

  • You can share the campaign on social media using our social media kit. The kit provides you suggested downloadable images and content to help share information about the campaign on your social media channels.

    If you are a mental health service, we suggest including a link to the complaints page on your website with each post. If you have any questions or feedback, please contact info@mhcc.vic.gov.au

  • You can get more information about the campaign by watching consumers, carers and clinicians talk about why 'It's OK to Complain!' here.

Reviewed 06 April 2022

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