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Media Releases 2019

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29th November 2019

SANE welcomes the Interim Report released yesterday by the Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System and is encouraged by the acknowledgment that fundamental reforms are needed to better support people affected by complex mental health issues.

SANE shares the Commissioners’ view that the current crisis-driven mental health system is a result of continual poor investment decisions driven, ultimately, by stigma and discrimination.  This has led to enormous inequality and in turn has lead to barriers to access, with treatment often dependent upon socioeconomic status and geography.

SANE Deputy CEO, Dr Michelle Blanchard, said the report is deeply moving and it was clear the Commissioners had genuinely listened to the stories of people with lived experience of mental health issues, their family and friends.

“This report reflects the experiences of more than 8,200 Victorians, outlining the changes needed in Victoria to make sure people living with mental health issues live long and fulfilling lives, free from stigma and discrimination.  It acknowledges the scale and depth of the problem across the entire Victorian mental health system and the need for sweeping reform,” Dr Blanchard said.

In particular, SANE welcomes the recommendations to establish a Victorian Collaborative Centre for Mental Health and Wellbeing, and to establish Victoria’s first residential mental health service designed and delivered by people with a lived experience of mental health issues.

At SANE we believe that people with lived experience of mental health issues should play an active role in shaping the services that will be of most benefit for them. The initiatives proposed have the potential to provide all Victorians with complex mental health issues with the care, support and connection they need,” Dr Blanchard said.

As SANE wrote in our original submission, “If the Victorian Government is able to work constructively with the Commonwealth Government in a true spirit of bipartisanship, there is the very real possibility that Victorians could have access to the best mental health system in the world.”

SANE will continue to undertake research, provide support, and advocate for those affected by complex mental health issues, and looks forward to playing an active role in designing and rebuilding the Victorian mental health system.

Anyone looking for information, support and guidance from mental health professionals can contact the SANE Help Centre on 1800 187 263 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. from 10am-10pm AEST Monday to Friday.  For anyone in crisis, please call:

  • Lifeline 13 11 14
  • Suicide Call Back Line 1800 659 467
  • Mensline 1300 789 978
  • KidsHelpline 1800 551 800


To request an interview with SANE Deputy CEO Dr Michelle Blanchard please contact:
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday contact:
Ellen Sproule - 0407 367 215
Thursday, Friday contact:
Bianca Lapins - 0439 708 381

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

SANE is a national mental health charity dedicated to making a real difference in the lives of people affected by complex mental health issues.  We work to support the more than four million Australians affected by complex mental health issues including schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, personality disorders, eating disorders, obsessive compulsive disorder, complex trauma and severe depression and anxiety.

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