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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 4 Hansard (3 April) . . Page.. 1389 ..

Mandatory reporting has also provided a basis for:

the inclusion of reporting obligations in protocols between Family Services and other agencies, and

reporting provisions in other agencies' policies.

Any consideration given to repealing mandatory reporting needs to include debate and enquiry into:

the desired outcomes of mandatory reporting

how these outcomes are best achieved

how mandatory reporting assists these outcomes

what other mechanisms assist these outcomes, and

what the overall benefits of mandatory reporting are.

Bushfires-mental health effects

(Question No 411)

Mr Smyth asked the Minister for Health, upon notice:

In relation to the effects of the bushfire disaster on mental health:

(1) Have any new cases of mental health conditions been reported to the Health Department following the Canberra bushfires;

(2) Have any cases of a mental health condition been reported to the Department of Health and Community Care where the apparent cause of the condition is related to the Canberra bushfires;

(3) Will the Government ask for regular updates from the Centre for Mental Health Research on the study it has begun on the effects of the bushfires on mental health;

(4) Is there any ability to share or use interim information from this study to assist those who have formed a mental health condition following the Canberra bushfires.

Mr Corbell: The answer to the member's question is:

(1) Since the bushfires, Mental Health ACT has had eighteen (18) new contacts with the word "bushfires"mentioned in the clinical notes. Only two (2) existing clients had disaster recovery forms filled out at the evacuation centres, the existing clients tended to directly access clinical services where needed. An additional 111 existing clients also had the word "bushfire"mentioned in their clinical notes. In these cases the Bushfires have directly caused or been a contributing factor to their presenting mental health states that have caused them to seek help. This data is from the Mental Health ACT MHAGIC database.

There has one presentation through the Calvary Emergency Department to the Calvary Psychiatry Unit 2N but the client was not admitted. This information does

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