Page 4520 - Week 12 - Wednesday, 31 October 2018

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to take this moment to offer my apology that that was not available. We need to right this wrong.

And of course, I thank the many other women who have contacted me and expressed their support. I wish I could share all of their stories, but apparently there is other business. There are too many stories to share with you today, but I think that we will continue to hear more of these stories. The reaction in the community has been overwhelming, to say the least, and overwhelmingly positive. I encourage parents right across Canberra to continue to share those stories, to continue to underline why this is so necessary, and to keep an eye on what the government are doing and hold them to account.

As many of these stories illustrate, women are already donating and they are already accepting breastmilk that has been donated throughout Canberra. Many others want to participate. Parents want that choice, but it is not always easy to participate. It is time we step in and make this process easier for donors and recipients; that we make it available both in and outside the hospital setting; that we make a physical location a real thing; and that we get the kind of regulation that gives parents receiving donor milk increased peace of mind. The way to do it is through a breastmilk bank. I urge the government to investigate and determine how best to make it happen, and I congratulate them because they have said they will.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Mental health

MRS DUNNE (Ginninderra) (11.22): I move:

That this Assembly:

(1) notes:

(a) October is mental health month;

(b) the efforts made, especially through community-based initiatives, to raise awareness of mental health in the community, reduce and eliminate the stigmas associated with mental health, and empower people suffering mental health problems to seek help through events such as the Mental Health Expo, “RUOK?” day, the Ice Bucket Challenge, and the “It’s OK to Talk” campaign;

(c) the difficulties many mental health clients have in navigating the ACT’s mental health system;

(d) the lack of a wrap-around service for mental health clients in the ACT;

(e) the inadequate human resources available to treat mental health patients in the public system, including psychiatry specialists and other appropriately-trained health professionals;

(f) assaults on mental health staff;

(g) the long delays to develop and implement mental health policies, including the Office for Mental Health and Wellbeing, which, although established on 1 July 2018, still does not have a coordinator-general;

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