Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System
The Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System has now made available its final report, which describes 65 recommendations for improving Victoria’s mental health system that the Victorian Government has committed to implement.
The final report recommends “supporting the mental health and well-being of new and prospective parents,” including a “review of approaches to perinatal mental health screening”. The PIRI team are pleased to see that the needs of families during the perinatal period are being given due attention. The Commission’s ‘Infant, child and youth mental health and wellbeing services Fact Sheet’ acknowledges that “the time around the birth of a child is one of life’s most important stages, but at the same time, is also a high-risk period for mental health and wellbeing challenges.”
The final report recommends a focus on early intervention, which is consistent with PIRI’s vision to invest in the earliest years to build a brighter future. The research literature tells us that the parent-infant relationship is crucial to optimal child development, and PIRI welcomes the “increased focus on supporting parents, carers and families to build positive relationships with their children,” as outlined in the fact sheet. PIRI has a number of evidence-based programs designed specifically to enhance parent-child relationships, and hopes to make these more widely available to Victorian families.
There is a focus in the final report on making treatment accessible and offering a range of delivery modes. PIRI is leading the way in Australia in providing evidence-based digital perinatal mental health resources, including our MumMoodBooster program and MumSpace Initiative (offered by the Perinatal Depression e-Consortium, led by PIRI).
One of the Guiding Principles listed in the report is that “mental health and wellbeing services use continuing research, evaluation and innovation to respond to community needs now and into the future.” With PIRI’s extensive research over the years into perinatal mental health, we look forward to continuing to contribute to research, evaluation and innovation of treatments and supports for families during the perinatal period.
As was so aptly put in the Commission’s ‘Infant, child and youth mental health and wellbeing services Fact Sheet’, “The right treatment, care and support that is delivered as soon as mental health and wellbeing challenges emerge can be life-changing, promote good mental health and wellbeing for future generations and reduce future demand for mental health and wellbeing services.” PIRI welcomes the opportunity to look at how services can be improved for families during the perinatal period.
Thank you for your continued support.
The PIRI team