Page 4363 - Week 12 - Tuesday, 13 October 2009

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Road Transport (Public Passenger Services) Act—Road Transport (Public Passenger Services) Regular Route Services Maximum Fares Determination 2009 (No 3)—Disallowable Instrument DI2009-201 (LR, 10 September 2009).

Taxation Administration Act—Taxation Administration Amendment Regulation 2009 (No 1)—Subordinate Law SL2009-44 (LR, 14 September 2009).

Petition—Out of order

Petition which does not conform with the standing orders—Kingston Bus Depot Markets—Proposed relocation—Mr Barr (19 signatures).

Mental health

Discussion of matter of public importance

MADAM ASSISTANT SPEAKER (Mrs Dunne): Mr Speaker has received letters from Ms Bresnan, Ms Burch, Mr Coe, Mr Doszpot, Mrs Dunne, Mr Hanson, Ms Hunter, Ms Le Couteur, Ms Porter, Mr Seselja and Mr Smyth raising matters of public importance to be submitted to the Assembly in accordance with standing order 79. Mr Speaker has determined that the matter proposed by Ms Porter be submitted to the Assembly, namely:

The importance of government and community working in partnership to promote positive mental health in the ACT community.

MS PORTER (Ginninderra) (3.32): I rise in the matter of public importance today to speak about the importance of the government and community working in partnership to promote positive mental health in the ACT community.

This is indeed a matter of great public importance. As we know, one in five people in our community will suffer a mental illness episode in their lives so it is possible that it will touch many of us in this place in some way. The disabling nature of mental illness may impact on a sufferer’s independence and autonomy.

Often defined by stigma, frustration and exhaustion, the impact of mental illness extends from individuals to families and colleagues as well as the wider community. The opportunity to reflect on this and the positive aspects of mental health were at the forefront during last week’s National Mental Health Week. I was happy to be able to officiate at the launch of the supported hospital exit program, or SHEP, as well as the Festival of Belonging at the Rainbow during Mental Health Week.

The SHEP program responds to the needs of people being discharged from hospital after a mental health event and acknowledges that a great level of support is necessary for these people to return home, and to pick up the threads of their day to day lives which were often in a state of dysfunction prior to hospitalisation.

I also opened the Festival of Belonging conducted by Rainbow Mental Health Foundation ACT and Connection Program of Volunteering ACT, giving us all an opportunity to acknowledge how important it is to maintain one’s connection to the community both from the point of view of those who experience mental illness and from the point of view of their families, friends and carers.

National Mental Health Week 2009 was being celebrated not only in the ACT and throughout Australia but in over 100 countries, aiming to raise community awareness

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