The MHCC is an independent specialist body established under the Mental Health Act 2014 (the Act) to safeguard people's rights, resolve complaints about Victoria's public mental health services and recommend service and system improvements.
A rights-based approach to complaints
The MHCC's rights-based approach to resolving complaints means we:
- support people who contact us to understand and exercise their rights under the Act and through our complaints processes
- assess all complaints against the requirements of the Act and its principles, the Victorian Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act 2006 and other relevant standards and guidelines.
Our functions under the Act also include:
- formally investigating matters involving risk and safeguarding concerns identified in complaints
- making recommendations for service and system improvements to the Chief Psychiatrist, Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services and the Minister for Mental Health in Victoria
- seeking undertakings from services to take specific actions in response to complaints, which are legally enforceable
- overseeing local complaints reporting by all Victorian public mental health services. Services must provide the MHCC with twice-yearly data detailing the number and outcomes of complaints made to them
- undertaking strategic projects arising from complaints, sharing lessons learnt to ensure rights are protected and there is broader system improvement
- educating and engaging people and services about what is involved in making and managing complaints.
The MHCC Advisory Council is made up of eleven diverse people who have lived experience as consumers, family members and carers or who work in mental health services. Members provide strategic advice and collaborate with us to ensure our work is informed and driven by lived experience. In 2019 we welcomed three new members:
- Katrina Clarke, who has worked as a Carer Consultant for the past 11 years and currently leads the Mental Health Carer Workforce at Monash Health
- Elvis Martin, an ambassador for RUOK? and the Youth Commission Australia with over 30,000 followers on social media who uses his platform to promote inclusion, diversity and equality for all
- Dean Duncan, Executive Director of Education for VACCHO, the first Aboriginal member of our Advisory Council.