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The Victorian Collaborative Centre for Mental Health and Wellbeing Forum April 2023

Thursday, 13 July 2023 at 3:36 am
Image of attendees in a large event room listening to a speaker on stage with a microphone and screen
Image of Collaborative Centre Forum Attendees in April 2023

The Victorian Collaborative Centre for Mental Health and Wellbeing (The Collaborative Centre) remains committed to promoting collaboration at its core. In April, the Collaborative Centre held a forum which brought together key stakeholders that are passionate about transforming Victoria’s Mental Health system. 

Speaking as a guest of the forum, Royal Commission panel member, Professor Bernadette McSherry, was clear about the importance of the forum in bringing researchers, clinicians, and people with lived experience together in the same room.  

‘There were 74 Royal Commission recommendations... the Collaborative Centre was number one. I want to emphasise that this was seen as our flagship,’ Professor McSherry said.  

‘We know when people collaborate, when it is not fragmented and just discipline specific, that it leads to fantastic outcomes,’ Professor McSherry added.   

Two attendees of the Collaborative Centre Forum engaging in conversation during a table activity

The Chair of the Collaborative Centre, Terry Laidler, added that the Commission's ambition for the Collaborative Centre to unite expertise across the sector remains a priority.  

‘No one organisation can achieve what needs to be done alone. One of the primary reasons we exist is to collaborate with organisations and individuals to improve care, treatment and support for people living with mental ill health or psychological distress, and their carers,’ Laidler said.  

The Collaborative Centre’s values and work is driven by people with lived and living experience. Collaborative Centre Deputy Chair, Maria Katsonis, said the Centre’s first forum was a perfect example of a diverse group of stakeholders coming together to hear about future possibilities of the Victorian mental health system. 

Image of three attendees laughing and smiling at the Collaborative Centre forum in April 2023

‘In the past, many of people who have experienced mental ill-health have not been heard. The Collaborative Centre has already begun to reverse that by creating opportunities such as the forum for people with lived experience to share their insight, and by forming the Lived Experience Advisory Panel (LEAP) which advises the Collaborative Centre board,’ Katsonis said.  

The forum revealed a range of ideas and perspectives, with one overarching theme: the collective goodwill and commitment to bring about meaningful and enduring change.