Page 601 - Week 02 - Wednesday, 11 February 2009

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Motion, as amended, agreed to.

Mental health—planning

MS BRESNAN (Brindabella) (11.10): I move:

That this Assembly:

(1) notes:

(a) the progressive mental health policy reform occurring across Australia; and

(b) the need for the ACT Government’s Mental Health Services Plan 2008-13 to reflect and keep pace with this reform; and

(2) calls on the ACT Government to:

(a) table the KPMG reports relating to consultation on the Draft Mental Health Services Plan 2008-13; and

(b) ensure that the finalised Mental Health Services Plan 2008-13:

(i) reflects the policy directions established by the ACT Greens-ALP Parliamentary Agreement;

(ii) provides clear targets for 2013;

(iii) outlines how those targets will be achieved; and

(iv) presents vision and innovation for mental health policy to 2020.

In late 2005, the Mental Health Council of Australia released Not for service: experience of injustice and despair in mental health care in Australia. It was the most significant report on mental health care in Australia for over a decade, and it led to substantial public debate at the time. It demonstrated that, despite government commitment to mental health reforms since the early 1990s, services remained highly inadequate from a consumer perspective and ran the risk of causing further deterioration in a consumer’s health and wellbeing.

Key issues identified in public consultations and formal submissions in the ACT included: a great deal of difficulty when accessing services, even when in crisis; an inadequate approach to management of forensic mental health issues; a lack of basic hospital and rehabilitation services; little attention to issues of early intervention; major staff shortages impacting on the quality of services delivered; the large role played by police and emergency services in acute mental health care; a lack of community-based health and housing services; and inadequate responses to serious incidents.

At the time, the ACT government responded positively to the report by acknowledging the depth of the problem and committing to a significant improvement

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