The Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation's (VACCHO) response to the Productivity Commission's draft report on Mental Health.

VACCHO has consulted with their members, who have expressed concern with the failure of previous government inquiries, policies and programs to support positive outcomes for the mental health of Aboriginal people. There is also a general sense of frustration with government processes that are conducted often with little or no consultation with Aboriginal communities.

Key Recommendations:

  • It is critical that the Productivity Commission examine Aboriginal people’s economic participation and productivity from the perspective of historical and intergenerational trauma which has been experienced by Aboriginal people since colonisation.
  • Funding for an Aboriginal Social and Emotional Wellbeing model (SEWB model) should be placed under the direction of Aboriginal organisations, rather than an external commissioning bodies. The difficulties encountered by Aboriginal organisations and their relationship with Primary Health Networks (PHNs) illustrates the need for self-determination in funding design and delivery of services to their Communities.
  • VACCHO Members strongly urge the Productivity Commission to include specific Aboriginal community consultations/public hearings into their process.The Productivity Commission should further undertake roundtable consultations with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, including with their carer and consumer organisations, holding hearings in regional Australia and incorporating Community perspectives in their final report.
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