Page 3963 - Week 12 - Tuesday, 29 November 2022

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early intervention service to address young people at risk of developing mental health concerns, as part of the bilateral agreement; and the expansion of the childhood early intervention team to Gungahlin Child and Family Centre.

Continuing our efforts to increase services addressing youth mental health, this year’s budget also included $8.1 million over four years for a youth at risk trauma service, based on years of detailed research and analysis by the Office for Mental Health
and Wellbeing.

All of this builds on investments in past budgets in prevention, early intervention and the delivery of care in the community closer to where people live, as well as $4.64 million in the September 2021 COVID-19 support package and the $37½ million 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; as well as having opened the first Safe Haven in Belconnen in November 2021; and another step up, step down residential mental health service in Garran, adding to our existing range of step up, step down services; the opening of ward 12B at Canberra Hospital for subacute mental health inpatient care; the opening of Gawanggal mental health accommodation at Calvary; and increasing the flexibility of the Adult Mental Health Unit to respond to the need for low versus high dependency beds.

I am very happy to have been able to provide details about a month ago on the success so far of the Safe Haven in Belconnen in supporting people before their psychological distress reaches the point where they need to go to the emergency department, as well as adding to the other supports that people might already access. I was recently talking to someone who started visiting Safe Haven regularly in January this year. She told me that visiting Safe Haven has meant that when her mental health condition has been going through a tougher patch, she has not needed as many additional appointments with her psychologist or her NDIS plan supports.

I was also very pleased to report earlier this year on the success of the Stride Garran step up, step down service, with an average daily bed occupancy of over 90 per cent and more than 140 people supported over the 2021-22 financial year. More than nine per cent of participants in their program identify as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander, 15 per cent as culturally or linguistically diverse, and 21 per cent as LGBTIQ+. One-third of the participants in the program were stepping up to a level of care higher than they could access while living at home in the community, and two-thirds were stepping down from an inpatient stay as part of their transition home to care in the community. Of those participants stepping up from care in the community, 78 per cent said they would have presented at the emergency department had it not been for the Stride Garran step up, step down service.

There is more to do, particularly in areas such as mental health supported accommodation, integrated mental health and alcohol and other drug treatment, the needs of veterans and their families, youth mental health, older persons mental health

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