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Youth Mental Health

A report we received yesterday revealed that one-quarter of young Canberrans are experiencing psychological distress. Figures were higher for females (33 per cent) an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders (43 per cent). I worry about these youth. Getting help in the ACT can be difficult.

Seeing a counsellor often requires months on a waiting list. The Adolescent and Young Adult Mental Health Inpatient Unit that Labor promised to have up and running by 2016 still doesn’t exist. Canberra parents are taking their children to Sydney and even to Melbourne to access specialist services.

I raised these failures in a speech in the Assembly today and then took the opportunity to speak words of encourage to struggling young people. I urged them to open up to someone who will listen and to remember that they are not alone. I asked all young people to be real friends for each other. I look forward to seeing the Youth Aware of Mental Health program in Canberra schools next year, funded by the federal Liberal government.

Click on the arrow button to read my speech.

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