Royal Commission into Mental Health Terms of Reference Consultation

Consumer issues must fall within mental health inquiry’s scope

Consumer Action has provided a submission to the Royal Commission into Mental Health Terms of Reference Consultation.

We strongly support the Victorian Government’s announcement of this Royal Commission. This is a critical inquiry that has the potential to benefit some of our state’s most vulnerable people.

Consumer Action’s financial counsellors and lawyers speak regularly to individuals experiencing mental health issues who have range of consumer problems including excessive debt, essential service disconnection, multiple payday loans and rejected insurance claims. Our data shows that 10% of individuals who contacted the National Debt Helpline and had a financial counselling session in 2017-18 presented with mental health issues. Extensive research has also confirmed the links between financial vulnerability and mental health.

We recommend that these consumer issues, and their corresponding impact on mental wellbeing, fall within the scope of the Commission’s terms of reference. We consider that particular attention should be given to automated processes established by businesses or the justice system that do not respond to the life experience of people with mental health issues.

Read the full submission here [PDF]

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