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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 13 Hansard (Thursday, 2 December 2021) . . Page.. 4106 ..


(i) mental health services provided by Winnunga Nimmityjah, Canberra Health Services Justice Health team, and the ACT Corrective Services Custodial Mental Health team; and

(ii) the Detention Exit Community Outreach program, which provides intensive case management and psychosocial support for up to 18 months to support people with mental health issues leaving detention, and access to SMART recovery and alcohol and other drug counselling;

(c) a range of alcohol and other drug treatment services are provided in partnership by Canberra Health Service’s Alcohol and Drug Service and the community sector, including withdrawal and rehabilitation, opioid maintenance therapy, counselling and education and awareness services;”.

3. Omit paragraph (1)(f), substitute:

“(f) the Territory and Commonwealth Governments have a joint responsibility to treat people with both mental health issues and alcohol and other drug use issues in a wholistic and integrated way; and

(g) the ACT Government is committed to addressing the co-occurrence of mental health and alcohol and other drug issues and continues to make investments in this space;”.

4. Omit paragraph (2)(b), substitute:

“(b) report back to the Assembly no later than 3 May 2022;”.

Mrs Jones has brought an important issue to the Assembly today, and I am glad to be able to discuss the treatment and services available for co-occurring mental health and alcohol and other drug issues. I also note my appreciation for the collaborative way in which the Minister for Health works with me on these combined issues.

This is an issue that the ACT government is committed to addressing. While it is a challenging issue, I am glad to update the Assembly on the work that is being done within ACT government across mental health and alcohol and other drug services and across mental health and alcohol and other drug sectors.

The national drug strategy and the ACT government’s drug strategy action plan 2018-21 include people with co-occurring mental health conditions as a priority group. Establishing more integrated service responses and a holistic approach to people with co-occurring issues is also a priority of the ACT mental health and suicide prevention plan.

The ACT government has supported the recommendations from the Productivity Commission inquiry on mental health, in particular, the need to do more to address the social determinants of mental health, which has a significant overlap with issues of alcohol and other drug misuse, and ensuring that people have easy access to services as early as possible to achieve the best outcomes.

This motion reflects the need to support people in our community who have multiple and complex needs. While mental health and alcohol and other drug issues are often


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