Page 714 - Week 03 - Tuesday, 5 April 2022

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Our past tells us about where we have come from and it provides signposts to how we may deal with our future challenges. It can delight us, it can challenge us, it can surprise us and sometimes it can confront us. It connects us with those whose shoulders we stand on, and binds us to those who are contributing to the life of this city and region. The Irish poet James Stephens reminds us about the power of curiosity—that it will conquer fear even more than bravery will. So let’s get excited, let’s get curious, and let’s discover how our past can enrich our shared future story. I present the following paper:

Heritage in Canberra—looking back to shape our future—Ministerial statement, 5 April 2022.

I move:

That the Assembly take note of the paper.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Mental health services—bilateral agreement

Ministerial statement

MS DAVIDSON (Murrumbidgee—Assistant Minister for Families and Community Services, Minister for Disability, Minister for Justice Health, Minister for Mental Health and Minister for Veterans and Seniors) (10.55): I rise to speak about the progress that the ACT government has made in securing significant investment in mental health services for the ACT.

The past two or three years have pushed us all in different ways, and most people’s mental health has been affected in some way at some point. It has also highlighted to all of us how important economic security and feeling socially connected are for people’s mental health and wellbeing.

We all know that the mental health implications of the COVID pandemic will be long-lasting. The ACT government is determined to ensure that we support the mental health of the community. On 27 March we announced an investment of more than $38 million in mental health and suicide prevention services in the ACT over the next five years, through the signing of a landmark bilateral agreement between the commonwealth and ACT governments. This bilateral agreement builds on a number of key policy and service priorities.

Under the terms of the bilateral, the commonwealth will invest $25.2 million and the ACT will invest $12.9 million to expand existing services that are helping people in need and to establish new services where we know that there are gaps. The funding includes $8.3 million to continue Head to Health adult mental health services across the ACT to address gaps in the mental health system, providing more integrated, seamless care for adults and older Australians. This will continue funding for the existing Head to Health service that opened in October 2021.

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