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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 13 Hansard (Wednesday, 28 November 2018) . . Page.. 4935 ..

an emerging problem and they want to get into it early. They wanted to run this program that they believed would work, and the data that has come back from that program shows that it has been well received by the community. A lot of people have come into the program and it is delivering for that age group. A lot of people perhaps think children that age are unlikely to present with suicidal ideation but, sadly, that is what we are seeing in our community. I was very pleased to be able to support Menslink to launch that new initiative to target this emerging problem.

We have funded sessions at headspace to reduce waiting times for young people needing support when they first identify as having mental health problems. That means they can get rapid access for some initial appointments. We do not have full evaluation data yet, but early evidence is indicating that many of the young people coming into that program are getting what they need and do not come back to the service. Others who need more sustained treatment are channelled into the right pathways, but it is improving access for young people to get the support they need in a timely manner.

In the last budget we invested in a significant package of new supported accommodation to allow people with mental health issues to live in the community. This is a new model, a new approach that recognises that some people with a mental health condition will have an enduring need for support; they are able to live in the community but not unsupported. This model looks to fill a gap that has existed previously. They will have access to long-term accommodation, recognising that these can be enduring conditions. It will become their home, where they will not just have the occasional visit; there will be 24-hour support. This will maximise people’s opportunities for independence and to live a fulfilling life. They will have the support they need to maximise opportunities

We have also been rolling out the new adult community mental health services model of care to improve access to community services and provide more support to patients when and where they need it. Some elements have just been implemented in the last few weeks and already I am getting feedback from staff that this is resulting in two outcomes: people getting access to the right treatment in the right place at the time that they need it; and it is cutting the workload of some of our staff.

Better operating systems mean that people are getting the treatment they need but staff are getting to do their jobs more effectively. This has been driven by our staff, supported by the government. We have seen pressures come into our mental health system and we have responded to them. We have a new and improved model of care that is tackling those workload issues and at the same time ensuring that our consumers are getting a better quality of care.

These are just a few examples of the positive work that has been happening in mental health. There are a range of other examples, including new consultation liaison services and the expansion of perinatal services in the last 12 months, through the budget process. These are all things the government is working on on a constant basis. It does not suit the narrative of the Liberal Party, but this is the reality on the ground of the improved services that have been delivered in the areas for which I have particular responsibility within the health portfolio, and it is reflective of the constant

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