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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 12 Hansard (Wednesday, 31 October 2018) . . Page.. 4532 ..


(b) provide an update to the Assembly on:

(i) the work of the Office for Mental Health and Wellbeing since its establishment on 12 June 2018 and the outcomes of that work;

(ii) the Government’s plans to assist clients to navigate the ACT’s mental health system;

(iii) the Government’s approach to providing a wrap-around service to mental health clients, as well as their families and carers;

(iv) the Government’s strategies to address staff training and resourcing across all relevant disciplines;

(v) the Government’s plans for improving timely access to inpatient services and supporting a stepped-care approach; and

(vi) the Government’s strategies to minimise the incidence and associated risks of occupational violence on mental health staff.”.

Just quickly, in the last few seconds I have, I am aware the Australasian College for Emergency Medicine did host a conference this month. We sent staff from ACT Health, and Minister Fitzharris and I have also met with them to discuss the specific issues they are raising.

MS FITZHARRIS (Yerrabi—Minister for Health and Wellbeing, Minister for Higher Education, Minister for Medical and Health Research, Minister for Transport and Minister for Vocational Education and Skills) (11.54): I am pleased today to speak in support of Minister Rattenbury’s revised amendment to the motion and to outline the progress the government has made and continues to make in regard to mental health services. Quite apart from the investment in front-line services, we are also willing to take the necessary decisions for the long-term sustainability of our healthcare system.

As the Minister for Health and Wellbeing, I work closely with Minister Rattenbury, and we are keenly aware that mental health plays a significant role in our overall health and wellbeing. A responsive mental health system and services is a crucial component of ensuring the wellbeing of Canberrans and how they engage with ACT Health, Canberra Health Services and other public health services in the ACT.

As Minister Rattenbury has said in this place a number of times, early intervention in mental health and suicide prevention are key priorities for the government. We are committed to an integrated approach to mental wellbeing and to working closely with community sector partners. The establishment of the new office for mental health and wellbeing will ensure there is a better whole-of-government focus on mental health. I also welcome the wider focus the office will bring in acknowledging the impact of socio-economic factors on people’s lives and their mental health and wellbeing through focusing on matters such as housing and education.

While the coordination of mental health and health services for complex patients is not always straightforward, the government does not shy away from those challenges,


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