What is Recommendation 29? What is Our Agency?
Recommendation 29 of the Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System called for a new agency led by people with lived experience of mental illness or psychological distress – we call it Our Agency.
Why do we need our agency? Why it’s important?
There is a long history of lived experience consumers leading the charge for the rights of people with mental health challenges and emotional distress. But the mental health sector has been slow to acknowledge and value the voices and contributions of lived experience consumers.
Consumer-led services and organisations are few and far between. Lived experience leadership progression and pathways within organisations and services are often unclear or just don’t exist. And without connection and support, consumer lived experience leaders can become isolated.
Our Agency aims to address these issues. The purpose of Our Agency will be to help to connect and grow consumer-led initiatives, provide training and resources for consumer-leadership, develop consumer-led healing and support services, and embed consumer-led approaches across the mental health sector.
Why are VMIAC and SHARC campaigning about this?
Although progress is being made on many Royal Commission recommendations, Recommendation 29 has not been implemented.
The board of Our Agency is yet to be established and no funding for Our Agency has been allocated.
Meanwhile, other new agencies and services are building and growing the foundations of our future system without reference to, connections with, or the benefit of input from Our Agency.
Consumer-led learning, innovation, leadership, and systemic involvement is at risk of being side-lined. We can’t afford the long history of marginalisation and disempowerment of consumers to continue.
How you can help:
We are calling on Premier, Jacinta Allan; Treasurer, Tim Pallas; and Minister for Mental Health, Ingrid Stitt MLC to fund Our Agency and establish its board immediately.
You can help by adding your name to our open letter and by letting us know why consumer lived experience leadership is important to you.