Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2009 Week 02 Hansard (Wednesday, 11 February 2009) . . Page.. 601 ..
Motion, as amended, agreed to.
MS BRESNAN (Brindabella) (11.10): I move:
That this Assembly:
(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