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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 10 Hansard (Friday, 8 October 2021) . . Page.. 3048 ..

That this Assembly:

(1) notes:

(a) the ongoing mental health crisis affecting young people;

(b) the immediate impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the mental health of young people;

(c) that in 2020, 34 percent of young people aged between 12 and 25 reported high or very high levels of psychological distress;

(d) that there will be a significant minority who will be affected by long-term anxiety because of COVID-19;

(e) the release of the Standing Committee on Education, Employment and Youth Affairs report on youth mental health in the ACT, tabled in August of 2020; and

(f) the importance of taking immediate action to address this crisis;

(2) acknowledges the ACT Government’s $10.3 million commitment to addressing youth mental health in the 2021-22 Territory Budget including:

(a) providing $7.5 million in funding to youth mental health programs, including the Moderated Online Social Therapy program;

(b) $851 000 for Catholic Care’s Youth and Wellbeing program; and

(c) an additional 25 youth and social workers that will be employed in schools at a cost of $7.4 million over the next four years to provide early intervention and support for students and their families;

(3) acknowledges the ACT Government’s success in:

(a) securing $3.6 million in funding for the community and mental health COVID-19 support package including;

(i) $90 000 to fund at home support for young people suffering moderate to severe mental illness; and

(ii) $70 000 to fund additional mental health programs for schools, individuals and businesses in response to COVID-19; and

(b) securing an additional $2.3 million from the Commonwealth Government to boost existing crisis, mental health and wellbeing services; and

(4) calls on the ACT Government to:

(a) work with the Commonwealth to ensure that the forthcoming National Agreement on Mental Health and Suicide Prevention will improve the outcomes for young Canberrans as we progress to a new COVID-normal life in the ACT;

(b) develop a position statement on youth mental health recovery from COVID-19 within three months;

(c) develop an ACT mental health workforce strategy within six months;

(d) continue to support Mental Health Month in the ACT;

(e) ensure funding for mental health support services for frontline workers; and

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