THE Royal Commission into Victoria's Mental Health System will stage a day of public hearings in Maryborough next month.
The July 15 session will explore the accessibility and delivery of mental health services in rural Victoria.
Suicide prevention, the challenges faced by farming communities and isolation will be specific areas of consideration.
Commission chair Penny Armytage said the hearings were informed by community consultations, which involved more than 1600 people and took place in more than 20 locations.
"We know there are specific issues that rural communities face in accessing mental health services and supports," Ms Armytage said.
"We also heard about the challenges of isolation in places like the Shire of Central Goldfields, which means people need to travel long distances to get help."
The hearings will be open to the public and will be streamed live on the commission's website, except in particularly sensitive circumstances.
A schedule of witnesses will be released before the session at Maryborough.
The commissioners will visit Maryborough District Health Service beforehand to discuss some of the issues affecting the community.
"The public hearings are an important step for the Royal Commission," Ms Armytage said.
"They will help us formally collect evidence from expert and community witnesses to build on the reflections and insights we have heard during our community consultations and through the submission process so far."
Not sure about making a submission? Take a look at the questions we ask as part of the process and visit https://t.co/B1LuVKYLY7 to have your say. If you need help get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org or 1800 00 11 34 #RCMentalHealth#mentalhealth#endthestigmapic.twitter.com/Vggs5GP4jk— Royal Commission - Victoria's mental health (@RCMentalHealth) June 18, 2019
Hearings for the commission are scheduled to run from July 2 - 26, mostly at the Melbourne Town Hall.
Submissions can be made online until July 5.
Visit rcvmhs.vic.gov.au to make an online submission or call 1800 00 11 34 from 9am - 5pm on weekdays for assistance. A phone interpreter service is available at 03 7005 3010.
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