Page 2660 - Week 08 - Wednesday, 21 September 2022

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workforce by working with this part of the sector to understand their specific needs. This will not only better assist them to support our community but will enable the community-managed sector to continue to supplement the important services delivered by the clinical workforce.

On a broader level, we heard that workforce initiatives need to be underpinned by evidence-based planning, through quality data and monitoring and evaluation activities that can help us to work towards clear outcomes.

The strategy also identifies the outcomes that the sector would like to see come to fruition through the next phase of this work. It acknowledges that the impacts of initiatives arising from this work will be not only on the workforce itself but on the ACT community and the mental health system. The strategy provides clear direction for planning and implementation that is agreed by the sector. We are now able to progress towards driving change and addressing some of the persistent challenges facing the mental health workforce in the ACT, and nationally.

Following the release of the strategy, an implementation plan will be developed in collaboration with the sector that will explore each priority area in more depth. Each priority area will be explored across the clinical and community-managed workforce to ensure that future initiatives support the whole continuum of care from the community response to the acute.

The development of this strategy coincides with the development of the National Mental Health Workforce Strategy. The national strategy will identify practical approaches that can be implemented by Australian governments to attract, train, maximise, support and retain the workforce required to meet the demands of the mental health system now and into the future.

The national strategy is aimed at providing strategies for the sector to work together on growing, upskilling and supporting the mental health workforce nationally. There will be the opportunity for us to leverage the work of the national strategy and align the implementation activities of both strategies towards what we know the ACT mental health sector wants and needs.

Once again I want to commend the ongoing efforts of our mental health workforce in the face of a challenging few years. We see the hard work that you do every day to support our community, and we are committed to working with you to ensure you have what you need to continue to support our community. We care about your wellbeing, the conditions you work in and your overall satisfaction with the important work that you do.

I am excited to be able to take the next steps with this work and to commence the scoping of actions and initiatives towards these goals and ensuring that the operational strategy is appropriately resourced to address workforce challenges. I will continue to provide periodic updates on the progress of this important work.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

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