The Mental Health Complaints Commissioner is an independent, specialist complaints organisation established under the Mental Health Act 2014 to help resolve complaints about Victorian public mental health services and recommend improvements.
The Mental Health Complaints Commissioner (MHCC) team works with consumers, families, carers and services to resolve complaints in ways that uphold consumer rights, support recovery and improve services for everyone.
The MHCC builds the capacity of services to develop a positive complaints culture, where services provide effective responses to complaints and people feel supported to speak up about their experiences and concerns.
Visit the MHCC
Role of the MHCC
The MHCC team:
- supports people to make a complaint directly to the service or the MHCC
- works to address people’s concerns and complaints through informal and formal resolution processes
- helps services to develop accessible and responsive resolution processes to deal with concerns and complaints
- receives and analyses reports from Victorian public mental health services about the complaints they receive and the outcomes of those complaints
- makes recommendations for service and system improvements, and uses their investigation and compliance powers to drive change
- undertakes investigations into any matters relating to public mental health services in Victoria, as requested by the Minister for Mental Health.
The MHCC carries out these functions to safeguard people’s rights and improve mental health services for everyone.
How can people speak up and make a complaint?
By talking directly with the service
Every public mental health service must have a process to help people speak up and raise their concerns.
By talking with the MHCC
The MHCC can:
- help people to raise their concerns directly with the service without making a complaint to the MHCC
- work with the person and the service to help resolve their concerns
- discuss other options, if they are unable to help.
An enquiry or complaint can be made to the MHCC by:
- calling 1800 246 054 (free call from landlines) or 03 9032 3328
- submitting an online
- downloading the complaint and sending via post, fax or email
- the MHCC
- faxing 03 9949 1506.
People can also contact the MHCC to request a copy of the complaint form, or to let the MHCC know the best time to talk about their concerns.
Who can make a complaint?
Anyone can contact the MHCC to talk about their concerns, including:
- people receiving public mental health services
- carers, families and friends
- advocates and mental health workers
- anyone else who is genuinely concerned about a person’s experience with a public mental health service in Victoria.
The Mental Health Act 2014 allows the MHCC to accept complaints without the consumer’s consent, if they are satisfied that:
- there are special circumstances
- accepting the complaint will not be detrimental to the consumer’s wellbeing.
In these instances, the MHCC can:
- contact the consumer to seek their consent
- discuss whether special circumstances may exist in their individual case
- help the person to explore other options for resolving their concerns.
What complaints can the MHCC deal with?
The MHCC deals with complaints about public mental health services in Victoria, including:
- publicly funded mental health community support services
- NDIS (National Disability Insurance Scheme) funded mental health community support services.
The MHCC can help with complaints about people’s experience with a service, including accessing a service, treatment and care. If they are unable to help with a person’s concerns, they will do their best to put the person in touch with those who can.
What happens when people contact the MHCC to make a complaint?
When a person contacts the MHCC, a member of the resolutions team will listen and try to fully understand the person’s concerns. The person will be asked:
- their name and contact details
- what their complaint is about
- who is involved
- what they would like to happen next.
The MHCC will work with the person and the service to address their concerns, to safeguard their rights, and to make improvements for other people in the future.
There are a number of ways that the MHCC can help to resolve a person’s complaint, including:
- informal resolution processes
- monitoring actions taken by services
- conducting conciliations and providing advice and recommendations to services.
The MHCC will also consider whether it’s necessary to conduct an investigation or issue a compliance notice to a service.
The MHCC will keep in contact with the person while they work to resolve their complaint.
The MHCC is accessible
The MHCC receives and listens to complaints in any language through interpreters, and when needed, will arrange an interpreter at no cost to the person making the complaint.
People who are Deaf or have hearing or speech support needs can contact the MHCC through the National Relay Service (NRS) or via email. The NRS can arrange an appointment or Skype call with an interpreter at no cost to the person making the complaint.