Mental Health Victoria has welcomed the appointment of Deputy Premier James Merlino as the new Victorian Mental Health Minister.
Mental Health Victoria Acting CEO Larissa Taylor said the organisation, the peak body for the mental health sector in Victoria, looked forward to working with the Minister through the implementation of reforms from the Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System.
“We also look forward to working closely to meet the growing needs of Victorians who are experiencing mental health issues during the coronavirus pandemic,” she said.
“We welcomed the Premier’s statement today, announcing Minister Merlino’s appointment and reaffirming the profound importance of getting mental health reform right in Victoria.”
Ms Taylor said Mental Health Victoria also wished to pay tribute to the work and dedication of former Mental Health Minister Martin Foley.
“Like the Premier, Mr Foley was instrumental in recognising that Victoria’s mental health system required drastic change and led the way to this critical Royal Commission,” she said.
“We have also welcomed their early recognition of the mental health impacts of the pandemic and lockdowns, and their decisions to bring forward key Royal Commission recommendations, to create surge capacity in mental health service providers and, most recently, to support providers to enhance their COVID-19-safe practices,” she said.
“We are pleased that Minister Foley will take his deep understanding of mental health into his new role as Health Minister,” she said.