Page 5797 - Week 15 - Thursday, 10 December 2009

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(3) What will be the total cost of these initiatives.

(4) Is this a firm target or an aspirational one.

Ms Gallagher: The answer to the member’s question is as follows:

(1) In 2008-2009, the Government provided 72% of the entire ACT Health mental health budget to spending on mental health in the community. This includes government and community sector provided services.

The ACT is the leading jurisdiction with the highest percentage of funding to the community mental health sector at 7.3% above the national average. Since 2001 the community mental health sector has seen substantial increases in funding in every budget. This additional spending equates to a cumulative increase of 241% from 2001/02 – 2009/10 in non government organisations since this Government came in to office. This high level of financial commitment has given the ACT a robust base from which to continue to expand and broaden mental health services.

The total funding for mental health non-governmental organisations has increased from 10.7% to 12.9% of total ACT Health mental health funding since 2001-02.

The Government committed $14.5 million to growth in mental health services in the 2009-10 budget, to be delivered over 4 years. Of this, $7.2m is to be allocated to the community sector with $1.0m allocated in 2009-10.

(2) The ACT Mental Health Services Plan, released this year, outlines policy initiatives to be implemented. This includes: plans for new inpatient facilities; a mental health assessment unit; a range of rehabilitation and recovery services to be provided within the community; enhanced supported accommodation and; increasing community knowledge of mental illness. Detailed plans will be developed in consultation with the community sector via the Strategic Oversight Group overseeing the implementation of the ACT Mental Health Services Plan. The ACT leads the way nationally on consumer consultation and representation. As an example of this the Strategic Oversight Group is Co-Chaired by a representative from the ACT Mental Health Consumer Network.

As well as providing direct funding to the community mental health sector through ACT Health, this government provides funding for a range of other mental health services in the community through various government departments. This includes funding to organisations such as Menslink through DHCS and to DET to deliver the national mental health school initiatives, Kidsmatter and Mindmatters.

Mental health and wellbeing are factors for consideration across all departments, including housing, education, community services and justice. Because the social determinants of health and mental health lie outside of the health sector, ACT Health is working with other ACT Government Departments to promote mental health and wellbeing and reduce the risk of suicide. ACT Health is leading the way nationally having developed the first whole of government mental health promotion, prevention and early intervention Framework in the country, the recently released: Building A Strong Foundation: A Framework for Promoting Mental Health and Wellbeing in the ACT 2009–2014. Combined with Managing the Risk of Suicide: A Suicide Prevention Strategy for the ACT 2009–2014, these Frameworks reflect further examples of mental health policy initiated by this government and the important work that other government agencies and sectors of the community are undertaking in this area.

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