ACT Legislative Assembly

Inquiry into Youth Mental Health in the ACT

The Standing Committee on Education, Employment and Youth Affairs is inquiring into Youth Mental Health in the ACT.

The Committee’s Terms of Reference and other materials are accessible below.

Submissions to this inquiry are now closed. Submissions closed on 20 March 2020.

Any further enquiries can also be directed to the Committee Secretary, on 02 6207 0524 or email at:

Assistance Information

If you, or someone you know, is struggling with mental health, these services provide support:

Kids Helpline: 1800 551 800

Lifeline: 13 11 14

Headspace: 1800 650 890 or

Beyond Blue: 1300 224 636

The Committee resolves to inquire into and report on the state of youth (under 25 years of age) mental health and operation of youth mental health services across the ACT, with particular reference to:

i. hearing the voices of the ACT community, including young people and their families, young people from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (ATSI) communities, young people living with disability, young people with lived experience of mental health and addiction challenges, young people affected by suicide and people involved in preventing and responding to mental health and addiction challenges;

ii. ACT’s current approach to prevention and early intervention strategies and services for youth mental health and addiction, and what needs to change;

iii. reviewing the work being undertaken in ACT schools to identify students at risk and early intervention strategies available to address such concerns;

iv. the availability of professional mental health services for students and their families at school and out of hours, including weekends and school holidays;

v. reviewing data published by Mission Australia, the Black Dog Institute and other organisations on youth mental health statistics in the ACT, as well as relevant experiences and learnings from other jurisdictions;

vi. reviewing data relating to family-based prevention and early intervention, including the impacts of screen time on children's mental health, family separation/divorce and family lifestyle;

vii. reporting on how the ACT Government is preventing mental health and addiction challenges and responding to the needs of young people with those challenges; and

viii. family based prevention and early intervention strategies, community confidence in the youth mental health system and better outcomes for ATSI, CALD youth, youth living with disability as well as other groups of youth that have disproportionally poorer outcomes.

Areas the inquiry will focus on include:

i. mental health challenges and needs of young people in the ACT across the full spectrum from mental distress to enduring psychiatric illness;

ii. ready access to mental health support and services by young people;

iii. identifying roles and responsibilities of the family unit in supporting youth facing mental health and addiction challenges, and supporting families in carrying out these roles and responsibilities;

iv. prevention and early intervention of mental health and addiction strategies;

v. identifying and responding to young people with mental health and addiction challenges;

vi. youth suicide prevention and support for those close to someone who has taken their own life;

vii. range of services available in ACT schools including counsellors, pastoral care workers, psychologists and other mental health professionals both in schools and within the Directorate;

viii. the extent and availability of mental health first aid training for teachers and learning assistants; and

ix. any other relevant matter.

Submission 01 - White Wreath Association PDF (367.6 KB)
Submission 02 - Individual PDF (366.0 KB)
Submission 03 - Mary and Ross PDF (188.9 KB)
Submission 04 - ACT Mental Health Consumer Network PDF (273.3 KB)
Submission 05 - ReachOut Australia PDF (502.9 KB)
Submission 06 - yourtown PDF (3.0 MB)
Submission 07 - ACT Government PDF (1.4 MB)
Submission 08 - Mental Health First Aid Australia PDF (576.1 KB)
Submission 09 - Public Advocate and Children and Young People Commissioner PDF (608.1 KB)
Submission 10 - Mental Illness Education ACT PDF (527.6 KB)
Submission 11 - Tuggeranong Community Council PDF (305.8 KB)
Submission 12 - The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists PDF (223.2 KB)


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Page last updated on 25 March 2020
2015 Legislative Assembly for the ACT