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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 12 Hansard (31 October) . . Page.. 4521 ..


(h) the mental health issues, including suicides and attempted suicides, emerging from a poor culture in ACT Health; and

(i) the recommendations of the Independent External Review of Mental Health Inpatient Services within ACT Health (the Review), of 22-23 May 2018; and

(2) calls on the ACT Government to, by the last sitting day in 2018:

(a) table in the Assembly the Government's response to the Review, outlining:

(i) which recommendations the Government accepts;

(ii) the Government's timetable for implementing the recommendations it accepts; and

(iii) which recommendations the Government does not accept, and why; and

(b) outline to the Assembly the:

(i) status of the Office for Mental Health and Wellbeing, including, but not limited to, an update on the activity of the Office since its establishment, together with the outcomes of that activity;

(ii) Government's plan to assist clients to navigate the ACT's mental health system;

(iii) Government's approach to providing a wrap-around service to mental health clients, as well as their families and carers;

(iv) Government's strategies to address staff training and resourcing across all relevant disciplines;

(v) Government's plans and timelines to relieve bed-block; and

(vi) Government's strategies to minimise the incidence and associated risks of assaults on mental health staff.

On 10 October the Minister for Mental Health issued a media release in which he noted the latest Australian Institute of Health and Welfare report, Mental health services in Australia. The minister highlighted the report's finding that more Canberrans are reaching out for support in addressing mental health concerns. Minister Rattenbury said in this release:

... Mental Health Month gives us all the chance to share the message that it's okay to get help for mental illness and it's a sign of strength, not weakness.

I agree with Mr Rattenbury's assessment of the importance of Mental Health Month. I, too, am pleased to see the community's acceptance of mental illness as a condition that, just like any other illness, needs treatment and support. And that treatment and support should be given in a safe and respectful environment, in both institutional care and in the general community.

Mr Rattenbury seems to want the government to take all the credit for the services that are available to people with mental illness, and I am not sure he is entitled to make that claim. I suspect that the range of community-based services play a major part as


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