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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 10 Hansard (17 September) . .

Page.. 3200..


health; so early identification and treatment of children presenting with emerging mental illness or disorder, and consultation and in-reach into primary health services targeted at children. I think this is critically important as we focus on the wellbeing of young people, particularly as they move through stressful and difficult periods of their life, which can often lead to more complex and difficult mental illness if not addressed early.

Secondly, in relation to step-up and step-down services, we are focused again on adolescents, on young people and on adults. We have opened a five-bed adolescent step-up, step-down community-based mental health residential care facility. This is the first of its type in Australia and it is a very important investment in improving support for adolescents with mental health challenges. We are also enhancing our step-up and step-down services.

We are also working very closely with the police. The police, through the mental health community policing initiative, are focusing on how they can avoid and divert police away from having to address those all too complex and difficult issues that emerge in the policing environment when it comes to mental illness. The capacity to have on-call dedicated clinical advice and experience through the police communication centre is particularly important. Having those mental health clinicians embedded in ACT Policing operations continues to be a very innovative model that is delivering for mental health consumers. (Time expired.)

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Dr Bourke.

DR BOURKE: Minister, can you outline the funding for and the types of mental health services that are provided by organisations in our community?

MR CORBELL: I thank Dr Bourke for his supplementary. Yes, we value very deeply the partnerships the government has with the not-for-profit and community sector because they provide equally important care. The government provides significant funding to community-based services.

It is worth highlighting the very, very important work done by Winnunga Nimmityjah Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island Health Service. The work they do in their community mental health liaison is greatly valued. Belconnen Community Services provide mental health resilience training for at-risk young people and their families. Marymead's provision of a promotion, prevention and early intervention program is equally important for families at risk.

There is the OZ Help Foundation's provision of mental health education and alcohol and drug education for people working in the building industry. And we know that that is an industry that does see a significant level of mental illness but is underrepresented in terms of people reaching out and getting the care and support they need. Then there is work such as PANDSI, the post and antenatal depression support and information initiative. This is a great community-based organisation providing self-help for women who are suffering from ante or postnatal mental illness.


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