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Royal Commission into Victoria's Mental Health System


Support & strengthen engagement of family and friends in mental health services

Tandem believes that a mental health system should support the relationships of consumers and family and friends in recovery. We call on any party that seeks to form government to outline their plan to work with those with lived experience, the workforce and peak bodies to facilitate this change. 

Friends and family frequently report exclusion from care planning, information relating to discharge and report feeling like adversaries rather than partners in recovery. This is despite legislation such as the Mental Health Act 2014 and the Carer Recognition Act 2012 which mandate access to relevant information and respect for carers in services.

Tandem recognises that some services in the mental health system already work to deliver family inclusive practice. These services must be recognised and the practices that they have pioneered need to be core service across the sector for the benefit of all service users. Staffing and resourcing shortfalls need to be addressed as part of facilitating holistic and inclusive practice.

Our consultations have uncovered that many in the workforce feel ill-equipped, over stretched and not supported to deliver care and services that include family and friends in a meaningful and helpful way. This then leads to negative outcomes for all concerned.  This must change.


Caroline | "Just having someone check in with us, ask us our name and how we were managing was so validating and a world apart from what we’d already experienced. The nurses and other staff made us feel welcome, and our son’s clinicians negotiated treatment and therapy sessions where we could contribute as parents and as a family as well as hear what our son needs from us. We’ve become so much more resilient and stronger for that experience."

Read Caroline's story.

SAFE | Mental health services are safe for all
FUNDED | Provide comprehensive and effective mental health services
FAIR | Family and friends can access tailored government supports and services that meet their needs