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POSITION STATEMENT | Eliminating restrictive interventions in mental health services

POSITION STATEMENT | Eliminating restrictive interventions in mental health services

Forensicare acknowledges and supports eliminating the use of restrictive practices within Victorian mental health and wellbeing services. We are committed to working towards safely ending these practices at Forensicare and to continue listening to the voices of consumers, their families, supporters and our staff as we undertake this journey.

We do not agree with recent commentary that reducing or eliminating restrictive practices will increase risks to the community and health care workers. However, we recognise the elimination of restrictive interventions is a challenge and will require substantial investment and change across our mental health and wellbeing systems.

Restrictive interventions have profoundly traumatic impacts on people experiencing mental ill-health. Similarly, health care workers experience physical and psychological harm whilst delivering or witnessing restrictive interventions.

Significant work to eliminate restrictive practices across Australia (and globally) is already underway. The final recommendations from the Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System are paving the way for much-needed systemic reforms. Expanded access to new, effective community-based models of care, new local mental health and wellbeing services, better-resourced Area Mental Health and Wellbeing Services and significant infrastructure improvements will strengthen early intervention and prevention programs, reducing the need for restrictive practices across mental health services and emergency departments.

Forensicare is resolute in our commitment to driving innovation to eliminate the use of restrictive interventions. This is reflected in our new Model of Care 2021-2026 which sets out our commitment to empowering Victorians living with a mental illness to lead safe and meaningful lives. 

We recognise the journey to elimination is not simple and will take time.  But we believe we can achieve it by nurturing a cohesive recovery-focused culture that supports staff development, shares expertise and delivers robust continuous improvement supported by comprehensive research and evaluation practices. 

We look forward to continuing to work alongside consumers, carers, our mental health sector partners, health services, unions and professional bodies and the Victorian Government to deliver safe mental health and wellbeing outcomes Victorians deserve.

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