Page 1680 - Week 06 - Thursday, 3 June 2021

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The office has reported annually on progress against its work plan as part of the ACT Health Directorate annual report. A mid-term review of the office conducted in late 2020 found that through its leadership the office has begun to change the conversation about mental health in the ACT community and has significantly influenced the conversation about mental health across the ACT government.

Additionally, the review found that the office serves a valuable bridging function to connect actors and improve the flow of information across the ACT’s mental health system. The office endeavours to conduct genuine community engagement and co-design that has ensured more voices are heard to shape its work. This has been widely welcomed in the community. These significant accomplishments are contributing towards improving system integration and most importantly the mental health and wellbeing outcomes of our community.

Looking to the future, there is still much to do. As many in this place will know, the Productivity Commission handed down its report on the inquiry into mental health in Australia. The report highlights that poor mental health affects all Australians either directly or indirectly, with one in five Australians experiencing mental illness in any given year. It also highlights the social, environmental and economic determinants of mental health.

In line with this government’s commitment to improving both mental health and wellbeing, the report notes that there are multiple factors that can adversely affect mental health and contribute to this burden of disease. These factors include factors across all aspects of our lives from our relationships, home life, school or work, and the social or environmental crises affecting us, such as COVID-19, the 2019-20 bushfire crisis, and climate change.

The report goes on to state that many who experience mental ill-health do not receive the treatments or supports that they need and this leads to preventable physical and mental distress, disruptions in education and employment, relationship breakdowns, stigma and loss of life satisfaction and opportunities. This is why we stand committed to working with all stakeholders to make sure the ACT can use any and all learnings from work such as this to make sure all mental health support services for Canberrans continue to improve. I look forward to seeing the impact of these exciting improvements to the mental health service system, and I commend this statement to the Assembly.

I present the following paper:

Mental health services—Update on Assembly resolution of 4 June 2020—Ministerial statement, 3 June 2021.

I move:

That the Assembly take note of the paper.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

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