Everyone has the right to make a complaint about their experiences with a public mental health service in Victoria. You can choose to raise your concerns with the service directly or to contact the MHCC.

The MHCC is an independent specialist body established under the Mental Health Act 2014External Link . Our Commissioner and staff safeguard people’s rights, resolve complaints and recommend service and system improvements. Like all services that operate under the Act, we must uphold its mental health principlesExternal Link at all times.

Driven by lived experience, the MHCC works with consumers, families, carers, support people and mental health service staff to resolve people's complaints. We do this in ways that support people’s recovery and wellbeing and improve the safety and quality of mental health services for all.

The tree below, partly inspired by the MHCC’s logo, shows what we hope people's experience of the MHCC will be:

We are driven by lived experience

We are driven by lived experience

When engaging with the Mental Health Complaints Commissioner (MHCC). The MHCC honours and respects the collective experience and wisdom of mental health consumers, families and carers. This tree represents how our approach is driven by lived experience. The roots show what informs our work, and feed into the leaves which describe what we aim to achieve when people engage with the MHCC – the outcomes of our values in action.


  • you have a voice and choice
  • you feel heard and valued
  • you feel safe
  • you influence positive change
  • your individual needs are recognised and respected


  • consumer experiences
  • upholding human rights, dignity and autonomy
  • person centred
  • family and carer experiences
  • trauma informed
  • recovery oriented
Download We are driven by lived experience

We also have developed a set of statements that describe the approaches and actions we are taking in each of our work areas to achieve the outcomes shown in the tree, and a strategy for 2020-2023. Find out more on our Driven by lived experience framework and strategy page.

Our functions under the Mental Health Act

The Mental Health Act 2014External Link gives the MHCC the following key functions (s 228):

  • to accept, assess, manage and investigate complaints relating to public mental health services
  • to endeavour to resolve complaints in a timely manner using formal and informal dispute resolution (including conciliation), as appropriate
  • to provide advice on any matter relating to a complaint
  • to make the procedure for making complaints in relation to services available and accessible, including publishing material about the complaints procedure
  • to provide information, education and advice to services about their responsibilities in managing complaints
  • to assist consumers and people acting on behalf of, or who have a genuine interest in the wellbeing of, consumers to resolve complaints directly with the service, either before or after the Commissioner accepts the complaint
  • to assist services in improving policies and procedures for resolving complaints
  • to identify, analyse and review quality, safety and other issues arising from complaints and to provide information and make recommendations for improvements to services, the Chief Psychiatrist, the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (the DHHS), the Minister for Mental Health and other agencies as listed
  • to investigate and report on any matter relating to services at the request of the Minister

Reviewed 09 April 2021

Mental Health Complaints Commissioner (MHCC)

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