To ensure Aboriginal people in Victoria have access to culturally appropriate and engaging information about their rights under the Mental Health Act 2014 and how to make a complaint, we have developed a new information sheet.

Commissioner Lynne Coulson Barr said the new resource will help to raise awareness within the community of their right to speak up about an experience of a public mental health service, and to have their distinct culture and identity recognised and responded to.

‘The discrimination and exclusion experienced by many members of the Aboriginal community, historically and to the present day, can significantly impact on their access to quality mental health care. This resource will support our aim of providing culturally responsive and accessible complaints processes for addressing concerns about Victoria’s public mental health services,’ Commissioner Coulson Barr said.

In developing the information sheet, we worked with the Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (VACCHO) to ensure the language and messaging was culturally appropriate, and with Indigenous design team Marcus Lee Design to create the MHCC’s first ever Aboriginal artwork.

‘The unique and valued contributions of VACCHO and Marcus Lee Design have helped to create a resource that we hope will resonate with Aboriginal consumers, families and carers,’ Commissioner Coulson Barr said.

Marcus Lee, descendant of the Karajarri people and Studio Director of Marcus Lee Design in Melbourne, spoke of the story behind the artwork, of how the rounded shape of the tree symbolises ‘strength, healing and connection’, with the encircling rings representing ‘trust and safety’.

‘The branches provide pathways to recovery for Aboriginal people, and communication channels between the MHCC and Aboriginal patients, families and carers,’ Mr Lee said.

This new resource aligns with our continued focus on developing effective strategies for engaging Aboriginal people across Victoria.

Access our information sheet here, and provide feedback by emailing info@mhcc.vic.gov.au