Page 1866 - Week 06 - Wednesday, 8 June 2022

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I move:

That the Assembly take note of the ministerial statement.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Schizophrenia Awareness Week

Ministerial statement

MS DAVIDSON (Murrumbidgee—Assistant Minister for Families and Community Services, Minister for Disability, Minister for Justice Health, Minister for Mental Health, Minister for Veterans and Seniors) (4.38): Schizophrenia Awareness Week was from 22 to 28 May 2022. This awareness week is held every May to coincide with World Schizophrenia Day on 24 May. The 2022 theme is “Connecting with Hope”—something we can all relate to. I would like to take this opportunity to encourage Canberrans to increase their awareness and become more informed about schizophrenia and other mental illnesses.

With one in five people in the last year experiencing a mental illness, it is crucial for our community to understand different mental health issues and, more importantly, where to find the right level of support. Within the Canberra region, we are supporting people with mental illness, including people with a schizophrenia illness, through health care such as GPs and private psychiatrists, public mental health services and the mental health community sector. Services are provided for both acute needs and longer term recovery.

People with schizophrenia can recover and lead fulfilling lives. Support is available, and I am very pleased that the ACT government delivers and funds a wide range of these supports. These include the public community mental health centres at Belconnen, Gungahlin, City, Woden and Tuggeranong; acute inpatient mental health units at Calvary and Canberra hospitals; the rehabilitation inpatient unit at the University of Canberra Rehabilitation Hospital; step up, step down residential supports; and community psychosocial supports delivered by non-government organisations.

One of the newer services that I would like to highlight is the ACT Safe Haven. Safe Haven offers a warm, non-clinical, safe space where people can freely go if they are experiencing emotional distress, mental health concerns, isolation and loneliness, and are seeking social connection and support. Safe Haven is located in Belconnen, and it is open Tuesday to Saturday from 4.30 to 9 pm. Canberrans are encouraged to know about the services offered here in the ACT, to seek support early or encourage and assist others to seek support.

The emphasis for this year’s campaign is connecting with real-life stories about what it is like to live with schizophrenia or psychosis. The campaign places importance on finding and curating connections to form a strong team to support people with psychosis. The key messages for this year’s campaign are about connecting with hope, busting myths, recognising the need to address fear and enhance awareness of

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