Victoria Minister for Mental Health Mary Wooldridge
Coalition Seeks Community Feedback On Mental Health Changes
Victor P Taffa
The Minister for Mental Health Mary Wooldridge has announced the Coalition Government will provide further opportunity for public comment on the Exposure Draft of the Mental Health Bill, with the closing date for submissions extended until Monday 28 February 2011.
“During the Election Campaign we made a commitment to ensure that the Mental Health sector, people living with a Mental Illness and their families and carers have the opportunity to submit their ideas and have them taken into account in framing the Bill introduced into Parliament.” Ms. Wooldridge said.
“Labor’s deadline did not provide individuals, families and other stakeholders with sufficient time to prepare submissions. As a result, I have decided to extend the closing date for submissions, allowing all stakeholders to put forward their ideas on the Exposure Draft of the Mental Health Bill.
“I look forward to hearing from all parts of the community affected by this important piece of legislation.” Ms. Wooldridge said.
“Based on the submissions already received and meetings between the Minister, stakeholders and the Department of Human Services, it is also clear that some issues need further discussion and review. These include issues such as the sharing of information, the provision of compulsory treatment and ECT and the decision making capacity of young people.” Ms. Wooldridge said.
Ms. Wooldridge thanked people who had already made a submission, and said they are also welcome to make a supplementary submission if they felt there were further matters they wished to bring to her attention or expand upon.
Victoria’s Mental Health Act 1986 is the oldest mental health legislation in Australia and needs to be brought into line with current standards.
Public submissions are progressively made available on the review website for the information and reference of the community.