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Published: 3 March 2021

The Australian Association of Social Workers welcomes both the report of Victoria’s Royal Commission into Mental Health and the Victorian Government’s subsequent commitment to implementing all 65 of the crucial recommendations.

Australian Association of Social Workers, Chief Executive Cindy Smith said the AASW made an extensive submission to the Royal Commission, that included eight key improvements and extensive input from its members.

“The findings would not have been possible without the input of social workers whose direct experience described the shortcomings of the current system in detail. Our submission drew extensively on this input that detailed how the scarcity of community based services has had serious consequences for people’s health.”

Ms Smith said the AASW appreciates Premier Daniel Andrews accepting the report’s conclusion that the current system is not fit for purpose, and we look forward to the government fulfilling its intention of implementing all the recommendations.

“This is an important step forward in addressing the mental health needs of all Victorians as the reforms will incorporate the voice and leadership of people with lived experience.”

“Social workers are on the frontlines of service delivery and see the devastating impacts of unaddressed mental health issues daily across a whole range of areas including homelessness, drug and alcohol and justice systems.”

“Social workers also have a large role to play in the implementation of the Commission’s recommendations and we look forward to working with the Victorian Government on ensuring that the root causes of poor mental health, including poverty, discrimination and inequality, are all addressed in conjunction with all 65 recommendations,” she said.

AASW - Australian Association of Social Workers