Page 3199 - Week 10 - Thursday, 17 September 2015
services. The case is similar for our CATT team: in 2013-14 we saw over 49,000 contacts and in 2014-15 over 51,000.
So there continues to be growth in demand for mental health care. I am very pleased that this government is responding to that demand by making one of the largest single improvements and increases in funding to mental health care since self-government. Over the last five years we have seen the employment of more than 70 new additional staff to help meet this growing level of demand.
MADAM SPEAKER: Supplementary question, Ms Porter.
MS PORTER: Minister, can you provide an update on the types of facilities in the ACT that now, and will in the future, care for mental health consumers?
MR CORBELL: I thank Ms Porter for her supplementary. It is the case that there are four key facilities that this government is investing in, is improving the capability of or is constructing for the first time to help improve care for mental health consumers. The first, of course, is the fantastic new adult mental health unit at the Canberra Hospital campus. This is a state-of-the art mental health unit operating at Canberra Hospital. It is a 40-bed mental health unit replacing the old psychiatric services unit. The level of care being provided there is outstanding. It is a difficult and challenging care environment with many complex and difficult conditions that staff need to assist consumers with, but they work very hard and are very capable, and I believe this facility truly delivers the humane and graceful setting you would expect for a facility that unfortunately has to deal with very acute and difficult episodes of mental illness, including instances where people are required to be detained because of the risk of harm to themselves and others.
There is also the mental health assessment unit at the Canberra Hospital. Right now we are doing a very significant refurbishment and expansion of the emergency department at the Canberra Hospital. This will include improvements in the mental health assessment unit as part of the emergency department. This is also critically important, because when people arrive at the ED in that acute phase they need a dignified and suitable environment. I am very pleased that we are making the investment at the emergency department at Canberra Hospital.
Finally, of course, work is underway in relation to the new secure mental health unit and the new University of Canberra public hospital, both providing services in this area as well. (Time expired.)
MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Ms Fitzharris.
MS FITZHARRIS: Minister, can you please provide an update on the types of services and programs ACT Health run to care for mental health consumers?
MR CORBELL: I thank Ms Fitzharris for her supplementary. It is worth highlighting a couple of key areas where we are expanding and improving our service delivery. The first is in relation to child and adolescent mental health services—new initiatives within this stream of care, particularly focused at primary school aged early mental