Victoria Legal Aid opens up stories behind closed doors

Victoria Legal Aid has released a report detailing the experiences and hopes of consumers who have accessed the mental health system.

The report also launched with a video interview of two experts in the project, Barbara and Imogen.

‘I think there needs to be more support outside of the mental health system,’ said Imogen.

‘There's lots of things that impact our mental health, housing, study, work, social and family connection just as a few examples and I think that the mental health system needs to put more emphasis on supporting consumers to set them up in the best way possible.’

‘I believe [there should be] people with lived experience working with others with mental illness because I believe a problem shared is a problem halved and if people are listened to, that's a great start,’ said Barbara

Project Coordinator, and consumer workforce member Simon Katterl, reflected “Barbara and Imogen’s stories ask us to acknowledge that crisis services such as emergency departments and inpatient units are often hurting rather than helping Victorians when they present for support.’

He went on to encourage the community to read the report and hear from all experts: ‘This is just one part of the broader mental health system that our lived experience experts reflect on in their stories to the Royal Commission.’

Further information: Simon Katterl, Project Coordinator ( / 9093 3733)