Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2007 Week 11 Hansard (Thursday, 15 November 2007) . . Page.. 3530 ..
(1) ACT Health have a dedicated coordinator position focusing on building the capacity in the ACT to provide appropriate, timely and flexible services to children of parents with a mental illness (COPMI). This position was established in 2004 and is based in Mental Health ACT’s Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services. This position has also coordinated ACT participation in the National COPMI Project.
To meet its aims to engage the broader community, the ACT COPMI Project has established an inter-sectoral steering committee and the ACT COPMI network. These groups raise awareness across sectors of the issues and needs of families with a parent with a mental illness and aid services to develop non-discriminatory methods to identify affected families and provide timely and appropriate supports to them.
Specific work has also been done in Mental Health ACT to improve identification and assessment of needs of clients who are parents and their children, and to promote resilience and early intervention strategies for children of parents with a mental illness.
Programs in the ACT that have a focus on children of parents with a mental illness include:
• The POPPY playgroup (Parents Opportunity to Participate in Play with their Young) run by The Child and Family Centre,Tuggeranong
• CYCLOPS (Connecting Young Carers to Life Opportunties and Personalised Support) ACT in conjunction with Mental Health ACT, Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services run a day in the school holidays for children of parents with a mental illness.
• The ACT Health Perinatal Mental Health Unit - provides consultation to families with children up to 12 months old.
The ACT COPMI Project is widely recognized in the Territory as having been highly successful in raising awareness and improving services and service coordination for parents who have a mental illness and their children
(2) Currently facilities for children’s visits to the PSU are limited and take advantage of areas that can restrict access such as counseling rooms and a separate courtyard. These areas were not exclusively designed for this purpose but do take into account issues of privacy and safety for children visiting parents during an acute psychiatric admission.
(3) The issue of appropriate environments along with other theoretical and practical issues that ensure the best outcomes for children visiting parents during an acute psychiatric admission have been identified and will be taken into account in the development of the new PSU.
(Question No 1728)
Dr Foskey asked the Minister for Disability and Community Services, upon notice, on 17 October 2007 (redirected to the Acting Chief Minister):
(1) Has the Government prepared an action plan for Government departments and agencies to work within the framework of the UN Convention of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities;