Page 4153 - Week 12 - Thursday, 1 December 2022

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are able to “step up” to residential therapeutic care without having to wait until their symptoms are so acute that they need a hospital inpatient stay.

I look forward to continuing to work on all of these things and more, and to be able to provide those updates that Mr Pettersson is calling for today. I am very much looking forward to being able to do that using the evidence base, the analysis and the research provided by our Office for Mental Health and Wellbeing. I commend this motion.

MR COCKS (Murrumbidgee) (3.24), by leave: I move:

(1) Omit paragraph (4)(b), substitute:

“(b) advocate for the Federal Government to fund a headspace centre located in Gungahlin and increase funding for all ACT headspace centres to enable them to attract and retain staff”;

(2) Insert after paragraph (4)(f):

“(f) provide an update on the implementation status of all recommendations of the August 2020 report: Youth Mental health in the ACT;”.

At the outset I would like to thank Mr Pettersson for bringing forward this motion, and I would like to note his longstanding interest in mental health, and particularly the mental health of young people. The Canberra Liberals will be supporting this motion, with two minor amendments.

As I have said on many occasions, mental health impacts all of us. If you do not experience a mental health issue yourself, someone close to you has, or will. You may be a carer for someone contending with a mental health issue. It may be your child, it may be a teenage family member, a loved one, a significant other or a good mate. Whether we are aware of it or not, the statistics show that we probably know multiple people dealing with mental health issues at any point in time.

No matter your age, gender or race, no matter what school you go to, no matter your income or what your house looks like, no matter, as I have said before, whether you are team red, team green or team blue, mental health touches everyone. That is why I chose to spend a large part of my government career working in mental health, where I was privileged to work on several significant reforms across much of the former coalition government’s mental health agenda, including working closely with stakeholders from across the country to improve the mental health system and make it work better for everyone.

I am proud to say that the former federal coalition government was instrumental in funding and driving many mental health investments across Australia, including here in the ACT. It did this not by trying to run roughshod over any jurisdiction but by working with jurisdictions to understand what it is that they need.

In particular, today I would like to acknowledge the commonwealth’s investments to enhance headspace centres, including here in the ACT, where it invested to increase access to multidisciplinary youth mental health services in the ACT and establish a multidisciplinary early intervention service to support young people at risk of developing mental health concerns.

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