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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 12 Hansard (Wednesday, 31 October 2018) . . Page.. 4528 ..


coming towards us. Of course this is not just about throwing more money at the issue. The investments we are making are evidence based and informed by discussions with the community about what new services they want to see. The new adult community mental health model of care is a great example of this. The new model, which commenced in June this year and is being gradually rolled out throughout 2018, provides better access and integrated care for people using mental health services, to ensure that they receive the right response at the right time.

Whilst ACT Health has invested in a number of state-of-the-art facilities for mental health, the model of care focuses on changing the process for delivering services within the community. The model of care will provide more options for treating people within their homes and the community, as an alternative to hospitalisation. It will lead to improved access to services and reduce waiting times for appointments. I reject Mrs Dunne’s assertion that we do not provide wraparound services for mental health clients. Under the new adult community model of care, the care delivered is based on an assessment of individual needs and the promotion of integrated care pathways. This will ensure people receive appropriate assistance from the service that best meets their needs and supports their recovery.

Other examples of integration across the service system include the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services work with the Education Directorate to provide early intervention and treatment for children presenting with emerging mental health issues; and an older persons mental health team, providing intensive support to people with psycho-geriatric conditions living in residential care or transitioning from an acute inpatient unit. ACT mental health works closely with other agencies such as ACT Housing, NDIA, general practitioners, non-government organisations, Carers ACT, the Mental Health Consumer Network and other key stakeholder groups through referrals and linkages to provide wraparound supports for mental health consumers. I accept that we can always do more to improve this process, and the office for mental health and wellbeing will play a key role in providing this leadership and coordination to the mental health system, including cross-government linkages.

The other key player in system integration is the federal government, as a major funder of community mental health programs, largely through the Capital Health Network. ACT Health is working with the Capital Health Network to develop a regional mental health plan for the ACT. This regional plan will provide a territory-wide strategy which supports improved access to services through the development of an integrated system-wide approach. I was pleased to attend a consultation forum on this project in late August which brought together a diverse range of stakeholders to identify needs, priorities and practical strategies. A first draft of the ACT plan is expected to be available for consultation by the end of 2018.

There is so much work happening in our clinical services, at the policy level and across governments, to improve the coordination and integration of mental health services. The government is committed to continuing this work. While we have some way to go, I believe we are making progress.

I also want to speak briefly to the independent external review of inpatient mental health services that Mrs Dunne referred to in her motion and her remarks. This review


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