Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Sittings . . . . PDF . . . . Video

Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 13 Hansard (Thursday, 2 December 2021) . . Page.. 4105 ..

treatment with no discharge plans that connect them to necessary and appropriate services and support.

This motion calls for the proper integration of drug and alcohol treatment in the ACT with the mental health system in the ACT. Specifically, this motion calls on the ACT government to ensure that there are dedicated treatment services and facilities for people with the comorbidity of a mental health disorder and a drug or alcohol abuse disorder. Currently, you are in one system or the other.

By bringing this motion, we want the government to commit to creating an integrated service, and identify specific beds and specific places in specific services that will deal with both mental health disorders and drug and alcohol abuse disorders. The transition should be seamless and no-one should be allowed to fall through the cracks.

This should not be news to this ACT government. In its report on youth mental health in the ACT tabled during the last Assembly, the Standing Committee on Education, Employment and Youth Affairs said:

The Committee highlights the prevalence of co-existing mental health and substance abuse disorders and the need for diagnosis and treatment of both conditions in order to achieve improved outcomes for young people in Canberra.

That report was tabled in August 2020. It is now the end of 2021, and we still have a Minister for Mental Health responsible for mental health, and a Minister for Health administering drug and alcohol services, with no integration of these services.

This must be done before this Assembly debates Mr Pettersson’s Drugs of Dependence (Personal Use) Amendment Bill. That bill would effectively decriminalise the personal use of drugs in the ACT. Drug addiction is a medical issue, but it does heighten the chances that a person may interact with the criminal justice system. Before this Assembly debates that bill, we need to be certain that we have the necessary services in place to effectively deal with the issues contained in Mr Pettersson’s bill. I commend this motion to the Assembly.

MS DAVIDSON (Murrumbidgee—Assistant Minister for Seniors, Veterans, Families and Community Services, Minister for Disability, Minister for Justice Health and Minister for Mental Health) (4.21), by leave: I move:

1. In paragraph (1)(a), omit paragraphs (i) to (iii), substitute:

“(i) mental health teams;

(ii) accommodation and inpatient services;

(iii) community-based services; and

(iv) many community service mental health services funded by the ACT Government;”.

2. Omit paragraphs (1)(b) and (c), substitute:

“(b) mental health issues are prevalent amongst people in the custody of the ACT at the Alexander Maconochie Centre and, in response, the ACT offers:

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Sittings . . . . PDF . . . . Video