Ms Julie Anderson1
1Office Of The Chief Psychiatrist Victoria, Melbourne, Australia
One of the four statutory roles of Victoria’s Office of the Chief Psychiatrist is:
‘to promote the rights of persons receiving mental health services’ (s120, MH Act, Vic, 2014)
The Victorian Office of the Chief Psychiatrist has focused its consumer rights work on reducing restrictive interventions, and on promoting gender and sexual safety. These issues remain high priorities, however it is clear that the need to promote consumer rights, and the issues and contexts related to rights are becoming increasingly complex. The aim of this paper is to outline a project that begins to explore mechanisms to support the Chief Psychiatrist in the statutory obligation and build a stronger, more strategic and consumer-driven foundation for the ongoing and effective promotion of consumer rights. The project will ensure that an outstanding requirement of the Act is properly implemented with outcomes being the development of a guidance document: an action plan for the Office of the Chief Psychiatrist that proposes short, medium and long term actions, priorities and resources to fulfill the above statutory role; formation of a Victorian Consumer Rights Advisory Group that provides ongoing, expert advice to the Chief Psychiatrist about the above statutory role. Promoting human rights has the potential to contribute towards the elimination of restrictive practices
Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, opened for signature 30 March 2007, 2515 UNTS 3 (entered into force 3 May 2008).
Julie Anderson is Senior Consumer Adviser in the Office of the Chief Psychiatrist in Victoria. She is experienced in consulting with people who have a mental illness about services and would say it is the best part of her job. Julie has advised Federal and State Governments on mental health policy.