The Royal Commission was established to make real improvements to the future mental health system for all Victorians.
To do that, it needed to listen to the voices of those Victorians—those with personal experience of people living with mental ill-health, their families, and carers. Engagement took place through working groups, focus groups, regular discussions and consultation on models of care.
We graphically recorded 34 of these engagements, capturing the thoughts and conversations, the experiences, successes, and failures of system interactions over a prolonged engagement. The first five sessions happened in-person, but once CoVid restrictions were in place, the interviews (and graphic recordings) went virtual.
We captured focus groups for Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Carers, People in the Justice System, Carers of children, LGBTIQ Carers, Young Carers, Aboriginal Carers, Crisis Response Carers. We also captured stories of those that that worked with Suicide Prevention, Community Integration, Alcohol and Other Drugs, Housing Consumers, Bed Based Services, Young People and more.
Of course, paramount to our operation was making sure that the privacy and confidentiality of these very personal information and shared stories was maintained.
It was challenging and extraordinarily rewarding work.
The work of Royal Commissions is vital, and it’s important for the community to understand and be informed.
We created three public facing videos for the Royal Commission:
- At the beginning of the Commission, we created an overview video that explained what it was, and what it hoped to achieve.
- For the release of the interim report in 2019, we created another video. This video outlined some of the important recommendations from the Commission, that would respond to immediate needs. It would also help prepare the way for the system-wide reform that will follow the Commission’s final report.
- For that final report, delivered in 2020, we made another video that outlined the system-wide changes needed to create a mental health and wellbeing system that is contemporary and adaptable.
We kept the same illustrator throughout this process, branding the video series with its own look and feel. When dealing with sensitive subject matter such as this, the hand drawn style really comes into its own, without overshadowing or diminishing the importance of the work, but allowing it to be accessible and inclusive with the stories that people had shared.
We could measure the outcome of this work as how many times the videos have been viewed (over 10 thousand times) or the amount of graphic recording engagements. But really the outcome—that the consumer’s voice was not only heard, but amplified, is more telling than any quantifiable metric.
We were part of a Royal Commission that set out a 10-year vision for a future mental health system where people can access treatment close to their homes and in their communities—changes that will make a real difference in the lives of Victorians.
Since then, we’ve worked with healthcare providers, hospitals, PHNs and more in bringing some of the 65 recommendations to life. And we’re continuing to do that important work.
We couldn’t be prouder.