If you need to complain about a mental health service or provider in Victoria, you can get help from a number of bodies, depending on the type of complaint.
Anyone with a genuine interest in the wellbeing of a mental health consumer can make a complaint.
Complaints about public mental health services
The Mental Health Complaints Commissioner is a specialist independent mental health complaints body that accepts, assesses, investigates and resolves complaints about public mental health service providers in Victoria.
It is an independent complaints body established in 2014 under the Mental Health Act 2014.
Anyone can make a complaint to the Commissioner, including a person receiving mental health services, anyone acting at their request, or anyone with a genuine interest in the person, such as a family member or friend. The complaint can be about a mental health service that's been provided, or about the failure to provide a service.
Complaints can be made over the phone, but must be confirmed in writing.
The Commissioner, or an investigator at the direction of the Commissioner, can undertake various actions to investigate and resolve complaints.
Complaints about private mental health services
The Health Complaints Commissioner is an independent authority for complaints about health services and health information issues in Victoria. The Health Complaints Commissioner can receive complaints about private mental health services or providers.
Complaints about a registered health practitioner
If your complaint involves a registered health practitioner, you can contact the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA).
AHPRA is the national body responsible for the accreditation and registration of health practitioners, and can receive and resolve complaints about the conduct or performance of registered health practitioners.
Anyone can make a complaint about a health practitioner’s conduct or performance through AHPRA.
Complaints to AHPRA are called 'notifications'.
Complaints about the Department of Health & Human Services
If your complaint relates to a service provided by the Department of Health & Human Services, or one of the department's employees, you can lodge your complaint with the department’s Complaints and Privacy Unit.
The Complaints and Privacy Unit deals with complaints about staff directly employed by the Department of Health & Human Services.
Anyone can make a complaint in writing or by phone. The complaint will be allocated to an departmental complaints officer.
Make sure you make a note of the staff member’s title, contact number and the date each time you speak to them.