www.mhcc.vic.gov.au

Make a complaint information sheets

Information to help you make a complaint about a public mental health service in Victoria.

  • Download the brochure:

    Alternatively, you can find an online version below:

    Speak up. You experience matters.

    Phone: 1800 246 054 free call from landlines

    Visit:  mhcc.vic.gov.au/form

    Email: help@mhcc.vic.gov.au

    Mental Health Complaints Commissioner Level 26, 570 Bourke Street Melbourne Victoria 3000

    Phone: 03 9032 3328

    Fax: 03 9949 1506

    Speaking up improves services for you and for other people.

    You have the right to speak up Under Victorian law:

    • you have the right to speak up or complain about a public mental health service
    • you cannot be treated unfairly because you make a complaint to us

    How to speak up and make a complaint

    Talk directly with the service

    Every public mental health service must have a process to help you speak up and raise your concerns.

    Talk with us. We can:
    • help you raise your concerns directly with the service
    • work with you and the service to help resolve your concerns
    • discuss other options, if we are unable to help. talk with us

    Who are we?

    We are an independent, specialist complaints organisation created by the Mental Health Act 2014 (the Act) to help resolve complaints about Victorian public mental health services and to recommend improvements.

    What complaints can we help with?

    We deal with complaints about public mental health services in Victoria. This includes publicly funded mental health community support services and NDIS (National Disability Insurance Scheme) funded mental health community support services.

    We can help with complaints about your experience with a service, including accessing a service, treatment and care. If we can’t help with your concerns, we will do our best to put you in touch with others who can.

    Who can make a complaint?

    People receiving public mental health services, families, carers, advocates, mental health workers and friends – any person who is genuinely concerned about someone’s experience with a public mental health service in Victoria can make a complaint.

    What happens if you aren’t the consumer?

    The Act allows us to accept complaints without the consumer’s consent, if we are satisfied:

    • there are special circumstances and
    • accepting the complaint will not be detrimental to the consumer’s wellbeing

    If you aren’t the consumer, we can:

    • contact the consumer to seek their consent
    • discuss whether special circumstances may exist in your individual case
    • help you explore other options for resolving your concerns

    Anyone can contact us to discuss how we can help. For more information on consent visit www.mhcc.vic.gov.au/consent

    We are accessible

    We receive and listen to complaints in any language through interpreters. We will arrange an interpreter at no cost to you when needed.

    If you are Deaf or have hearing or speech support needs, please contact us through the National Relay Service or email us. We can arrange an appointment or Skype call with an interpreter at no cost to you.

  • Alternatively, you can find an online version below:

    Making a complaint

    Speaking up improves services for you and for other people.

    You have the right to speak up

    Under Victorian law:

    • you have the right to speak up or complaint about a public mental health service
    • you cannot be treated unfairly because you make a complaint to us

    How to speak up and make a complaint

    Talk directly with the service

    Every public mental health service must have a process to help you speak up and raise your concerns.

    Talk with us. We can:
    • help you raise your concerns directly with the service
    • work with you and the service to help resolve you concerns
    • discuss other options, if we are unable to help

    Who we are?

    We are an independent, specialist complaints organisation created by the Mental Health Act 2014 (the Act) to help resolve complaints about Victorian public mental health services and to recommend improvements.

    What complaints can we help with?

    We deal with complaints about public mental health services in Victoria. This includes publicly funded mental health community support services and NDIS (National Disability Insurance Scheme) funded mental health community support services.

    We can help with complaints about your experience with a service included accessing a service, treatment and care. If we can't help with your concerns, we will do our best to put you in touch with others who can.

    Who can make a complaint?

    People receiving public mental health services, families, carers, advocates, mental health workers and friends - any person who is genuinely concerned about someone's experience with a public mental health service in Victoria can make a complaint.

    What happens if you aren't the consumer?

    The Act allows us to accept complaints without the consumer's consent, if we are satisfied:

    • there are special circumstances and
    • accepting the complaint will not be detrimental to the consumer's wellbeing

    If you aren't the consumer, we can:

    • contact the consumer to seek their consent
    • discuss whether special circumstances may exist in your individual case
    • help you explore other options for resolving your concerns

    Anyone can contact us to discuss how we can help. For more information on consent visit www.mhcc.vic.gov.au

    We are accessible

    We receive and listen to complaints in any language through interpreters. We will arrange an interpreter at no cost to you when needed.

    If you are deaf or have hearing or speech support needs, please contact us through the National Relay Service or email us. We can arrange an appointment or Skype call with an interpreter at no cost to you.

    Talk with us

    Phone: 1800 246 054

    Email: help@mhcc.vic.gov.au

    Mental Health Complaints Commissioner

    Level 26, 570 Bourke Street

    Melbourne Victoria 3000

    Phone: 9032 3328

    Fax: 9949 1506

  • Alternatively, you can find an online version below:

    Your right to speak up

    Under Victorian law:

    • you have the right to speak up or make a complaint about a public mental health service
    • you cannot be treated unfairly because you make a complaint

    You can:

    • talk directly with the service - every public mental health service must have a process to help you speak up and raise your concerns
    • talk with us - we can help you raise your concern directly with the service, work with you and the service to resolve a complaint or discuss other options if we are unable to help

    We encourage anyone who has a concern about their own or someone else’s experiences with public mental health services in Victoria to speak up.

    Our role

    We are an independent, specialist complaints organisation created by the Mental Health Act 2014 (the Act) to help resolve complaints about Victorian public mental health services and to recommend improvements.

    We uphold the mental health principles outlined in the Act, including:

    • people should be involved in all decisions about their assessment, treatment and recovery
    • people should be supported to make or participate in these decisions, and their views and preferences should be respected
    • carers should be involved in decisions about assessment, treatment and recovery whenever possible
    • carers should have their role recognised, respected and supported

    What complaints can we help with?

    We deal with complaints about public mental health services in Victoria. This includes publicly funded mental health community support services and NDIS (National Disability Insurance Scheme) funded mental health community support services.

    We can help with complaints about a person’s experience with a service, including complaints about accessing a service, treatment or care.

    Who can make a complaint?

    We can accept complaints from:

    • consumers
    • a person acting at the request of a consumer
    • anyone who has a genuine interest in a consumer's wellbeing

    What happens if you aren’t the consumer

    We will talk to you about your concerns and how we can help.

    In most cases, we seek the consumer’s consent before we accept a complaint. We will discuss the best way of contacting the consumer and any concerns you may have about this.

    The Act also allows us to accept complaints without the consumer’s consent, if we are satisfied:

    • there are special circumstances and
    • accepting the complaint will not be detrimental to the consumer’s wellbeing

    Accepting a complaint without the consumer’s consent

    Accepting a complaint without the consumer’s consent is a serious decision and we consider whether there are special circumstances on a case-by-case basis.

    Special circumstances may arise where:

    • the consumer does not have capacity to consent to a complaint at the time the complaint is made
    • the consumer is aged under 16, and the complaint is made by a parent or guardian
    • the complaint has been made by a guardian
    • there is risk of serious harm or issues of significant public interest

    If we accept a complaint without the consumer’s consent, the Act requires us to notify the consumer of this decision. We also seek to involve the consumer in the resolution of the complaint as early as possible, whenever possible, to uphold their rights and the mental health principles outlined in the Act.

    First steps

    Talk to us about your concerns so we can discuss how we can help. If you aren’t the consumer, we can consider:

    • contacting the consumer to seek their consent
    • exploring whether special circumstances may exist in your case
    • exploring other options for resolving your concerns
  • Download the information sheet: 

    Alternatively you can find an online version below:

    Making a complaint about a public mental health service

    Speaking up improves services for you and for other people.

    Under Victorian law:

    • you have the right to speak up or complain about a public mental health service 
    • you cannot be treated unfairly because you make a complaint to us

    How to speak up and make a complaint

    Talk directly with the service

    Every public mental health service must have a process to help you speak up and raise your concerns.

    Talk with us. We can:

    • help you raise your concerns directly with the service
    • work with you and the service to help resolve your concerns
    • discuss other options, if we are unable to help.

    Who are we?

    We are an independent, specialist complaints organisation created by the Mental Health Act 2014 (the Act) to help resolve complaints about Victorian public mental health services and to recommend improvements. We opened in July 2014.

    What complaints can we help with?

    We deal with complaints about public mental health services in Victoria. This includes publicly funded mental health community support services and NDIS (National Disability Insurance Scheme) funded mental health community support services.

    We can help with complaints about your experience with a service, including accessing a service, treatment and care. If we can’t help with your concerns, we will do our best to put you in touch with others who can.

    Who can make a complaint?

    People receiving public mental health services, families, carers, advocates, mental health workers and friends – any person who is genuinely concerned about someone’s experience with a public mental health service in Victoria can make a complaint.

    What happens if you aren’t the consumer?

    The Act allows us to accept complaints without the consumer’s consent, if we are satisfied:

    • there are special circumstances and
    • accepting the complaint will not be detrimental to the consumer’s wellbeing

    If you aren’t the consumer, we can:

    • contact the consumer to seek their consent
    • discuss whether special circumstances may exist in your individual case
    • help you explore other options for resolving your concerns

    Anyone can contact us to discuss how we can help. For more information on consent visit www.mhcc.vic.gov.au/consent

    We are accessible

    We receive and listen to complaints in any language through interpreters. We will arrange an interpreter at no cost to you when needed.

    If you are Deaf or have hearing or speech support needs, please contact us through the National Relay Service or email us. We can arrange an appointment or Skype call with an interpreter at no cost to you.

    Mental health principles

    a) People receiving mental health services should be provided assessment and treatment in the least restrictive way possible, with voluntary assessment and treatment preferred.

    b) People receiving mental health services should be provided those services with the aim of bringing about the best possible therapeutic outcomes and promoting recovery and full participation in community life.

    c) People receiving mental health services should be involved in all decisions about their assessment, treatment and recovery, and be supported to make, or participate in, those decisions. Their views and preferences should be respected.

    d) People receiving mental health services should be allowed to make decisions about their assessment, treatment and recovery that involve a degree of risk.

    e) People receiving mental health services should have their rights, dignity and autonomy respected and promoted. f) People receiving mental health services should have their medical and other health needs, including any alcohol and other drug problems, recognised and responded to.

    g) People receiving mental health services should have their individual needs (whether as to culture, language, communication, age, disability, religion, gender, sexuality or other matters) recognised and responded to.

    h) Aboriginal people receiving mental health services should have their distinct culture and identity recognised and responded to.

    i) Children and young people receiving mental health services should have their best interests recognised and promoted as a primary consideration, including receiving services separately from adults, whenever this is possible.

    j) Children, young people and other dependents of people receiving mental health services should have their needs, wellbeing and safety recognised and protected.

    k) Carers (including children) for people receiving mental health services should be involved in decisions about assessment, treatment and recovery, whenever this is possible.

    l) Carers (including children) for people receiving mental health services should have their role recognised, respected and supported.

    If you feel these principles have not been upheld for you or someone you care about, you have the right to make a complaint.

    To make a complaint, you can contact the service directly, or contact the Mental Health Complaints Commissioner. The Mental Health Act 2014 (s 11) requires public mental health services and staff to uphold the following principles

    Speak up. Your experience matters.

    Mental Health Complaints Commissioner Level 26, 570 Bourke Street Melbourne Victoria 3000

    Phone: 03 9032 3328

    Fax: 03 9949 1506

    Phone: 1800 246 054 free call from landlines

    Visit:  mhcc.vic.gov.au/form

    Email: help@mhcc.vic.gov.au

    Search for ‘Mental Health Complaints Commissioner’

  • Download the guide:

    Alternatively, you can find an online version below:

    I want to know more about my rights while I am in hospital, and have more say in my treatment.

    Independent Mental Health Advocacy

    Phone: 1300 947 820

    Visit:  www.imha.vic.gov.au

    Office of the Public Advocate

    Phone: 1300 309 337

    Visit:  publicadvocate.vic.gov.au

    Contact a Community Visitor

    I want to apply to have my Treatment Order cancelled

    Mental Health Tribunal

    Phone: 1800 242 703

    Visit:  www.mht.vic.gov.au

    I need to talk to a lawyer about a Mental Health Tribunal hearing or legal issue

    Victoria Legal Aid

    Phone: 1300 792 387

    Visit:  www.legalaid.vic.gov.au

    Mental Health Legal Centre

    Phone: 9629 4422

    Visit:  www.mhlc.org.au

    I want a Second Psychiatric Opinion on my mental health Act status or treatment

    Second Psychiatric Opinion Service

    Phone: 1300 503 426

    Visit:  www.secondopinion.org.au

    I have concerns about my treatment and experience with the hospital and want to discuss making a complaint

    Mental Health Complaints Commissioner

    Phone: 1800 246 054

    Visit:  www.mhcc.vic.gov.au

    I want to know more about my rights while I am in hospital, and have more say in my treatment

    Victorian Mental Illness Awareness Council

    Phone: (03) 9380 3900

    Visit:  www.vmiac.org.au

    Office of the Public Advocate

    Phone: 1300 309 337

    Visit:  publicadvocate.vic.gov.au

    Contact a Community Visitor

    I need to talk to a lawyer about a Mental Health Tribunal hearing or legal issue

    Victoria Legal Aid

    Phone: 1300 792 387

    Visit:  www.legalaid.vic.gov.au

    Mental Health Legal Centre

    Phone: 9629 4422

    Visit:  www.mhlc.org.au

    I have concerns about my treatment and experience with the hospital and want to discuss making a complaint

    Mental Health Complaints Commissioner

    Phone: 1800 246 054

    Visit:  www.mhcc.vic.gov.au

    My family member or friend is in hospital

    I want to know more about my rights as a carer (I need an advocate) and/or support

    Tandem Carer Support and Referral Line

    Phone: 1800 314 325

    Visit:  www.tandemcarers.org.au

    I have concerns about my treatment and experience with the hospital and want to discuss making a complaint

    Mental Health Complaints Commissioner

    Phone: 1800 246 054

    Visit:  www.mhcc.vic.gov.au

    I have concerns about the care being provided or need advice regarding guardianship/power of attorney/medical treatment decision making

    Office of the Public Advocate

    Phone: 1300 309 337

    Visit:  publicadvocate.vic.gov.au

    More information

    These services are free and confidential for Victorians of all ages. You have a right to communicate with them and to be supported to do so. If you need more information, or help (such as an interpreter or Aboriginal service), please ask a staff member.

    Ask a staff member if you need help contacting these services, need an interpreter, or for brochures where available.

Reviewed 11 March 2021

Mental Health Complaints Commissioner (MHCC)

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