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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2016 Week 06 Hansard (Thursday, 9 June 2016) . . Page.. 1922 ..

Health, Ageing, Community and Social Services—Standing Committee—Report 8—Inquiry into Youth Suicide and Self Harm in the ACT, dated 2 June 2016, together with a copy of the extracts of the relevant minutes of proceedings.

I move:

That the report be noted.

It is with delight that on behalf of the chair I present the committee’s final report into youth suicide and self-harm in the ACT. It was a fairly short inquiry period but certainly a very important topic, introduced and initiated by Mrs Jones. The committee has reported back with three recommendations. The committee recommends that the ACT government update the Legislative Assembly on both the development of the national database and progress made in relation to improving the collection of ACT data, particularly in relation to receiving consistent data from community-based organisations.

Recommendation 2 is that the ACT government update the committee in relation to its negotiations on mental health funding, including with the Capital Health Network. Recommendation 3 is that the ACT Assembly consider re-examining this matter when funding and research outcomes are made public in order to determine the most appropriate way to further develop early intervention measures, education approaches and access to services for suicide prevention activities in the ACT.

Those recommendations largely came about on the basis of the evidence the committee received around a lack of specific data relating to youth suicide and youth self-harm. Largely, the statistics are pooled between both juvenile and adult instances of suicide. Also, there is no centralised record being kept as to what instances are occurring.

I would like to take the opportunity to thank all the community organisations that made submissions on behalf of their organisations. I also particularly thank the couple of individuals who wanted to share personal experiences in this space. I understand that for them that would have been a very challenging experience. But it is one that enabled the committee certainly to gain a greater understanding of the legacy that remains once someone chooses to take that devastating and permanent decision to end their life.

I also would like to thank the contributions of all committee members: Ms Burch, who is absent today, is the chair; Ms Lawder and Mr Hinder; and also a very big thank you to Nicola Kosseck, who is the secretary to the committee. All the best to her while she is on maternity leave. I also thank Kate Harkins, who stepped in in her absence at the tail end of this inquiry to finish the report and to go through the deliberations with the committee.

I commend everyone on the effort that they have put in. However, I would highlight the need for more time and more effort to be put into understanding the challenges in the space of youth suicide and self-harm. The next Assembly hopefully will take a

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