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Disability and mental health

Woman in wheelchair with her carerVictorians who have a disability or mental illness have the same rights as all Victorians.

There are a number of organisations working with people with a disability or mental illness (and their carers and service providers) to ensure that these rights are upheld.

Within the department, Office of the Public Advocate (OPA) is a statutory body working to protect the rights of people with a disability or mental illness. OPA offers a range of services, including:

  • an advice service, which can be contacted by telephone, letter, email or by visiting the office
  • staff and volunteers who can officially be appointed as guardians
  • volunteers who visit facilities where people with a disability or mental illness live
  • volunteers who attend police interviews to ensure people with a disability or mental illness know their rights.

OPA can also investigate claims of abuse, neglect and exploitation of a person with a disability or mental illness who is in care.

Consumer Affairs Victoria – a department business area – provides relevant information and services with consumers with a disability, including:

  • audio guides
  • information in 'Easy English'
  • advocacy services for eligible tenants.

Other government departments and agencies working to support and protect the rights of people with a disability or mental illness include the Department of Health and Human Services, the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal, Victoria Legal Aid, the Victorian Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission, the Office of the Disability Services Commissioner and the Office of the Health Services Commissioner.

Who's involved

Office of the Public Advocate

Independent statutory body working to protect and promote the rights of people with a disability or mental illness

Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal

Hears applications and make orders for guardianship and administration, reviews decisions made by the Mental Health Review Board

Department of Health - Victoria's Mental Health Services

Provides information on mental illness, accessing mental health services, patient rights and the Mental Health Act

Department of Human Services - Disability

Administers financial assistance, accommodation options, community involvement and other supports and services for people with a disability, their families and carers

Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission - Disability discrimination

Educates people about disability discrimination and helps resolve complaints

Office of the Health Services Commissioner

Provides free, confidential service to assist with problems or complaints about health services and health privacy

Disability Services Commissioner

Responds to complaints about Victorian disability services including those provided by the Department of Human Services

Victoria Legal Aid

Helps with legal problems, with a focus on supporting socially and economically disadvantaged Victorians

Consumer Affairs Victoria

Provides information and services for consumers with a disability

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Person signing a legal document

Take Control (External link)

Take Control is a kit for making powers of attorney and guardianship

Group of hands in the air

Securing their Future

Read this booklet to find out how to plan for the future when you care for a person with a disability

Consumer Affairs Victoria logo

Consumers with a disability (External link)

Consumer Affairs Victoria provides information and services for consumers with a disability

paper documents in file folders

Disability Action Plan 2012-16

The department's Disability Action Plan recognises that all Victorian have a right to access the justice system

Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander flags

The department acknowledges Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people as the Traditional Custodians of the land and acknowledges and pays respect to their Elders, past and present.