Page 477 - Week 02 - Wednesday, 23 March 2022

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those with lived experience, construction will commence later this year, for completion in 2023.

I welcome other updates provided in the position statement, including those related to the ACT’s eating disorder program, providing evidence-based therapy, recovery and participation and additional ACT government investment in eating disorder support programs.

As I have said in this Assembly before, we have too many people in our community suffering from the effects of eating disorders, those who are experiencing it firsthand, as well as loved ones, family and friends who are devastated by its impacts. I intend to keep pressure on this issue to ensure that people in our community have appropriate and timely access to support and services. I know how devastating eating disorders are for everyone involved.

Madam Speaker and colleagues, I look forward to being part of the solution, to supporting those in my community on this matter. I will keep advocating on this issue for long-term, positive impacts across our entire community.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Mental health—workforce strategy

Ministerial statement

MS DAVIDSON (Murrumbidgee-Assistant Minister for Families and Community Services, Minister for Disability, Minister for Justice Health and Minister for Mental Health) (10.46): Madam Speaker, on 8 October 2021 a resolution was passed by the Legislative Assembly for an ACT mental health workforce strategy to be developed within six months. I am pleased to be able to update the Assembly today on the progress that has been made in developing the ACT mental health workforce strategy. Before I make my substantive remarks, it is important to remember that the workforce pressures being felt in the ACT are replicated in every Australian jurisdiction and in most comparable health systems around the world.

When we think of a mental health workforce, many people think of psychologists, psychiatrists and nurses. That is entirely understandable. However, a modern mental health workforce should have a much broader range of opportunities and should include social workers, counsellors and peer mental health workers.

We have already had some success in attracting additional mental health clinicians to the ACT to work on the recently opened ward 12B. Early career psychiatrists that I have met tell me that one of the reasons that they have moved to Canberra is to work with the great mentors and senior psychiatrists in Canberra Health Services. But we clearly need to do more, and we are intent on doing so.

Since the passing of the resolution, significant work has been undertaken, through co-design with the ACT mental health sector. I am working with the Office for Mental Health and Wellbeing to finalise the strategy, which will be released as soon as possible. The strategy will act as an overarching framework and will provide

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