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The human rights roadmap: 40 ways to operationalise human rights in Victoria's mental health and wellbeing system

Decision making Legislation Mental health promotion Mental health Human rights Well-being Restrictive practices Victoria

Human rights risks are intrinsic to mental health and wellbeing systems. Safeguarding these rights within such systems requires embedding human rights considerations into all decision-making processes and a delicate balancing of the ethical values of autonomy and beneficence. Practical implementation supports are also necessary to translate rights on the page to realities on the ground.

This paper presents the next steps for Victoria's reform of the state's mental health and wellbeing system. It presents a strategic approach based on continuous improvement principles, aimed at maintaining an ongoing focus on rights advancement, a reminder that upholding human rights within the system is a continuing journey.

This report is structured around seven key action areas:

  • Governance: Part 1 demonstrates the need for strong governance to oversee Victoria’s mental health and wellbeing system.
  • System foundations: Part 2 outlines system foundation reforms required to provide a basis for a human rights-based system to flourish.
  • Legislative underpinnings: Part 3 provides recommendations to strengthen the underpinnings of Victorian mental health legislation.
  • Decision-making capacity: Part 4 identifies the need for greater protections for the autonomy of consumers, especially those who can demonstrate the capacity to make their own decisions about their healthcare.
  • Supported decision-making: Part 5 suggests both legislative and practical reforms to strengthen and clarify a person’s access to decision-making supports, including the right to make binding advance statements.
  • Coercive practices: Part 6 looks at options to reduce recourse to coercive practices, including compulsory treatment and restrictive practices.
  • Data Sovereignty: Part 7 explores ways to establish a foundation for a human rights-based approach to the collection, use and sharing of information.
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