Page 1927 - Week 06 - Thursday, 9 June 2022

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The strategy provides strategic guidance to the ACT government on the identified priorities and initiatives that can be implemented over the next five years to improve the mental health and wellbeing outcomes of older Canberrans in our community. The strategy proposes 26 actions across three priority areas towards the goals of building mentally healthy communities for older Canberrans, enhancing the lives and experiences of older Canberrans with mental illness, and improving structural and system capacity to respond to the needs of older Canberrans requiring mental health care.

I am very pleased to see that some of the actions proposed in this strategy recognise the social determinants of people’s mental health and wellbeing. The actions in the strategy range from research and scoping initiatives to further our knowledge on emerging needs, to piloting new initiatives and enhancing knowledge and coordination across existing services to better support the mental health needs of older Canberrans.

The strategy seeks to improve coordination between the intersections of mental health and wellbeing and ageing, and to provide a focused lens on efforts to improve support for this priority population. This focused and coordinated response is anticipated to be a significant step towards improving the mental health and wellbeing outcomes for older people in the ACT.

Importantly, the implementation of initiatives will promote the strengthening of partnerships, collaboration and coordination between ACT government agencies, service providers and community organisations to progress the objectives that have been defined in collaboration with the community. The more we all work together towards the shared goal of improving the mental health and wellbeing outcomes of older Canberrans, the more improvements we will see in their mental health and wellbeing. The collaboration across portfolios will also enable us to be more responsive to the broader social determinants of mental health and wellbeing for this cohort in a more holistic way.

This work complements the existing efforts of the ACT government through the implementation of the Age-Friendly City Plan 2020-2024, which is broadly contributing to the wellbeing outcomes of older Canberrans by reducing barriers and improving their access to services across Canberra. We know that an environment that allows older people to live active, productive and mentally healthy lives is critical to supporting healthy ageing. It will also enable older Canberrans to continue to actively share their valuable knowledge, experience and contributions to our community, which we all benefit from. I am looking forward to commencing the implementation of this important strategy and sharing with you all its progress and the benefits we are seeing for this important group in our community over the next four years.

I present the following papers:

Re-envisioning Older Persons Mental Health and Wellbeing in the ACT Strategy 2022-2026—

Towards our Vision.

Ministerial statement, 9 June 2022.

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