This Mental Health Week, more Canberrans reaching out for support

Released 12/10/2018

The latest Australian Institute of Health and Welfare report into Mental Health Services in Australia finds that more Canberrans are reaching out for support in addressing mental health concerns, above national averages of service delivery.

“During Mental Health Week, this is particularly encouraging news,” Minister for Mental Health Shane Rattenbury said today.

“This means that more Canberrans are reaching out for support, and feel that they can do so, and that our services are responding their needs.”

The report finds that:

  • The ACT has the highest rates of access to community mental health services (run by Canberra Health Services) with people accessing specialised mental health services at rates approximately twice the national average (769.7 per 1000 population in the ACT, compared to 365.2 per 1000 population);
  • The ACT has the highest rate of service contacts with Indigenous consumers in the country (2611.7 per 1000 population, compared to 1,189.9 per 1000 population).

“We know that early intervention and reaching out, and conversations with individuals in our community who are struggling, can make all the difference,” Minister Rattenbury said.

“The report also highlights that the ACT is rather unique in its higher levels of service delivery when compared to other, larger jurisdictions.”

Minister Rattenbury said that Mental Health Month gives us all the chance to share the message that it’s okay to get help for mental illness and it’s a sign of strength, not weakness.

“Through raising awareness and promoting mental health and wellbeing we increasingly break down the stigma associated with mental illness.”

In the past year, key mental health initiatives have included:

  • The establishment of the Office for Mental Health and Wellbeing which will address fragmentation across the service system;
  • The development of new models of care and enhancements to services for adults, young people, people with eating disorders and older people;
  • The formation of an integrated regional Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan; and
  • The implementation of the ACT LifeSpan Suicide Prevention Framework.

- Statement ends -

Section: Shane Rattenbury, MLA | Media Releases

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