Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2022 Week 07 Hansard (Wednesday, 3 August 2022) . . Page.. 2238 ..
This pandemic and these pressures are taking their toll on the people who are on the front line of it. We have heard consistently from midwives that it is a workplace that is under some stress. So it is really great to see the reforms that we know need to be made rolling on. We know that that will actually, long-term, reduce pressures on the system. It will provide better care. It will provide better care outside of hospitals and it will provide better care for everybody. We know that there are a lot of pressures at the moment, and it is really heartening to hear that the health minister is listening to all of those pressures and responding.
I am really pleased to see those reforms. I am really pleased that we understand the need to look after our people along the way. I would just like to encourage anyone to get in touch with our health minister or me. There are quite a lot of us here who are interested in this field. Get in touch and let us know when we are not getting something right or when there is something that we need to know.
Question resolved in the affirmative.
Children and young people—mental health services
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) (11.06): The ACT government is committed to supporting children, young people, parents and carers to access mental health services and supports here in the ACT.
In 2019, the Office for Mental Health and Wellbeing undertook a review to understand the challenges and issues facing our younger community members in relation to their mental health and wellbeing. A key recommendation from the community, through this process, was that more services and better support were required for young people experiencing moderate to severe mental health concerns.
We heard that children and young people find it challenging to find the right services for their needs and they are often referred to services to only be referred on again, bouncing between different services. This issue is known nationally and is colloquially referred to as the missing middle. We know this is frustrating for young people, and also for families trying to seek support for the young people in their care.
Following the review in 2019, the Office for Mental Health and Wellbeing partnered with the Youth Coalition of the ACT and the Capital Health Network to seek to better understand why children and young people with moderate to severe mental health issues experience difficulties accessing support. It was important to build on the feedback already provided by the community in relation to this issue, and also crucial to understand the challenges facing our mental health sector to really understand why this is an issue here in the ACT.
This project took a collaborative approach and was undertaken in consultation with a broad range of service providers who offer support to children and young people experiencing moderate to severe mental health concerns. We heard through this