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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 12 Hansard (Wednesday, 31 October 2018) . . Page.. 4533 ..


and it is indeed making significant progress on meeting them. Better integration and coordination through a territory-wide strategy for mental health and suicide prevention services is also fundamental to the government’s vision for mental health and suicide prevention services. As Minister for Health and Wellbeing, I am progressing a truly territory-wide approach to service delivery which includes mental health services and coordinated care across different models of care that is person centred, culturally safe and integrated.

It is worth reminding members that around one-third of Canberrans will need mental health care at some stage in their lives. This means our local services and facilities need to expand as our population grows so that people can access the right care when and where they need it. This is why the government has invested significantly in recent years in mental health services and programs through budget investment. I am really pleased to see a number of ACT Labor’s 2016 election commitments being met by the government through budget processes and the reforms Minister Rattenbury is leading.

With $646 million over four years for the delivery of mental health services, the budget truly demonstrates the focus the government has on this important area of our healthcare system. To put that simply, our investment in mental health services for the Canberra community has grown to $157 million, an increase in funding for this current year.

One of the key initiatives of this record investment is that funding has been committed to provide more supported accommodation for people with complex mental health needs to recover and live well in the community. As Minister Rattenbury has acknowledged, the complexities around mental health treatment and services are such that people have different levels and intensity of mental health issues and may well have physical health issues they are also dealing with at the same time. These are handled very well right across Canberra Health Services in the delivery of public health services in the ACT.

As our city grows, we will see more and more demands for mental health services, from early intervention and prevention measures through to emergency and intensive support. It is important that we focus on the full spectrum of those experiences and the important work in helping people to navigate these services.

This year’s budget also invests in more specialist community-based mental health services, which are about not just reactive treatment but proactive treatment through prevention and innovative services that help towards recovery. I will highlight some of these investments: funding to expand the older persons mental health intensive treatment service; suicide prevention and very important after-care services to support people who may have attempted suicide; continued focus on providing more support to young people with mental health concerns; and funding programs for children, adolescents and young people, including the important work to establish Canberra’s first inpatient adolescent mental health unit.

As Minister Rattenbury has indicated, the independent external review of mental health services was commissioned as part of the ACT government’s response to the


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