Skip to content

Melbourne City Mission submission to the Royal Commission into Victoria's mental health system

29 July 2019

Melbourne City Mission (MCM) has released its submission to the Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health system, which highlights many of the barriers clients face when accessing mental health services.

The Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health system has revealed alarming failures in the support and care provided for young people with mental illness and MCM welcomes the opportunity to put forward a submission.

MCM’s submission aims to amplify the voice of young people with mental illness to ensure future reforms to Victoria’s mental health system are designed around the needs of the individual. 

Mental health impacts many young people MCM provides services for and underpins much of our work.

MCM operates Frontyard Youth Services – a pioneering service model with integrated support and 24/7 emergency crisis accommodation for young people experiencing or at risk of becoming homeless.

Many of the young people MCM support experience complex mental health that intersects with their experiences of homelessness, disability, alcohol and drug issues, as well as structural societal barriers including poverty, social exclusion and discrimination.

In 2018:

  • 64% of clients who accessed MCM homelessness services had a mental health issue or concern identified by a worker
  • 44% of MCM homelessness clients self-reported having a prior mental illness diagnosis
  • 65% of students enrolled at MCM’s Hester Hornbrook Academy required additional support to address social/emotional disability to participate in their education

Vicki Sutton, Chief Executive Officer, Melbourne City Mission says poor mental health in young people can lead to adverse outcomes and a lifetime of pain and anguish for friends and families.

“Young people are attending our services with complex mental health, and other issues who have been systematically failed by multiple sectors across health, education, disability and social services more broadly,”

“Only a fully-integrated mental health system will effectively meet the needs of our most marginalised young people with complex needs who are currently falling through the cracks of siloed service systems,” Vicki said.  

The Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System is the first of its kind in Australia and will map out a plan of action that drives major changes to mental health services to support Victorians living with mental illness, including those at risk of suicide.

Read our policy submission

MCM's full submission to Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System can be found here.

More details about the Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System can be on the Royal Commission’s website.

Support for those in crisis

If you or someone you know is in crisis or needs support call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or BeyondBlue on 1300 224 636.

Interview opportunities

Vicky Sutton, Chief Executive Officer, Melbourne City Mission

Wayne Merritt, General Manager, Youth Homelessness & Justice

Back to top