Page 3745 - Week 10 - Thursday, 14 September 2017

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health service or to an organisation like Lifeline or others in the community that do have experts on staff.

The fourth step is to check in, to come back a little while later and ask how someone is now going and whether they have followed through on some of those actions. These are the ideas that are being promoted by the R U OK? foundation. They are great lessons for us, as members, to keep in mind, either to encourage us to take those steps ourselves or to encourage others in the community to think through those steps and be aware of them.

MR STEEL: Minister, what is the government doing to improve the mental health and wellbeing of Canberrans?

MR RATTENBURY: I thank Mr Steel for the question. A range of initiatives is in place right across a number of ACT departments. Specifically, in this year’s budget we funded $2.9 million to establish the new office for mental health which, despite comments from across the chamber, I think is well on the way and is certainly provoking an important community conversation about how we get this exactly right.

We have opened the new rehabilitation beds at the Dhulwa mental health unit. This project has been in train for some years now, but certainly in the time I have been the minister I have been very pleased that that facility is now open and has added another component to the ACT’s mental health response.

The budget also saw $5.3 million to invest in a range of programs and services to improve the mental health of Canberrans, including continued funding for headspace and the detention exit outreach program. We also invested $1.8 million to reduce the incidence of suicide in our community through funding for the Black Dog Institute’s LifeSpan suicide prevention program. They are a couple of the specific initiatives in this year’s budget.

Of course, a range of other services is being provided right across our community directly by government through things such as our community mental health services as well as the more acute end of the spectrum in the emergency department and the adult mental health unit, then through a range of community organisations that are funded by the government to provide support and, of course, the additional resources they bring to it through fundraising. There is a lot of work across the community. My focus in the next couple of years is to ensure those services are well coordinated and provide a clear pathway for people who come into contact with their services.

Mr Barr: Madam Speaker, further questions can be placed on the notice paper.

Supplementary answers to questions without notice

Light rail—local contracts

MS FITZHARRIS: Yesterday in question time the opposition asked me about locally based firms engaged by Canberra Metro on the light rail project, and I am very pleased to report that 58 per cent of the contracts have been awarded to Canberra

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