Page 2925 - Week 09 - Wednesday, 12 October 2022

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people in the missing middle report of 2022, the Standing Committee on Education, Employment and Youth Affairs inquiry into youth mental health in the ACT of 2020, and the Review of the service system and implementation requirements for raising the minimum age of criminal responsibility in the ACT final report of 2021 detailed the importance of earlier support, the need to make services more accessible and integrated, and the current gaps in services for the 12- to 18-year-old age group in the ACT.

The six-month scoping project undertaken in 2021 provided detailed advice on an evidence-based response to meet the needs of young people identified in these reports. This scoping work included an environmental scan, evidence review and broad consultation across more than 70 ACT agencies.

In response, ACT government will develop a youth-at-risk program to deliver a territory-wide, multidisciplinary response to trauma in young people at risk of developing and during mental illness. The service will support young people facing different challenges within our community as early as possible to ensure they are provided with the skills, care and support required to enable them to grow, learn and lead a meaningful and fulfilling life. A key element of this program is an evidence-guided therapeutic approach that delivers integrated care through a new adolescent trauma service. The service will build sector partnerships and enhance flexible outreach. It will be delivered by multidisciplinary clinicians and engagement teams in both government and non-government agencies, in partnership with young people, carers and families.

These budget initiatives build on investments made in prevention, early intervention and the delivery of care in the community closer to where people live in past budgets, as well as COVID-19 support packages and the bilateral agreement with the commonwealth government. Those investments include the ongoing work to deliver the ACT’s first eating disorder residential centre and early intervention service for eating disorders, and engaging Thirrili, an Aboriginal community-controlled organisation to provide a new Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander suicide prevention, intervention, postvention and aftercare program.

There is more to do, particularly in areas such as mental health supported accommodation, and understanding the mental health and wellbeing needs of our First Nations community. I hope to see further investment in areas such as these in future budgets.

I would also like specifically to address the work that has been done by our justice health team to address the needs of people in the Alexander Maconochie Centre and in Bimberi Youth Justice Centre. If we are to achieve our goals of reducing recidivism and the overrepresentation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in our justice system, health services are an important part of our justice reinvestment plan.

Delivering health services within the physical constraints of the Hume Health Centre at the AMC is not easy. Care is often shared across justice health services, Winnunga and Canberra Health Services outside the AMC, including sharing clinical information and transition between services. Corrections officers also have an important role in the wellbeing of people in the AMC. These challenges increased

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