9. Youth Mental Health in the ACT

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

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

The Committee’s inquiry has concluded. The Committee’s report was tabled on 13 August 2020 and is available from the Reports menu button on this webpage.

Any further enquiries can also be directed to the Committee Secretary, on 02 6207 0524 or email at: LACommitteeEEYA@parliament.act.gov.au.

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 www.headspace.org.au

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 (942.1 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)
Submission 13 - Butterfly Foundation PDF (4.3 MB)
Submission 14 - Black Dog Institute PDF (403.9 KB)
Submission 15 - Association of Independent Schools of the ACT PDF (842.0 KB)
Submission 16 - Speaking Out for Autism Spectrum Disorder PDF (1.2 MB)
Submission 17 - Youth Coalition of the ACT PDF (411.7 KB)
Submission 18 - Ms Judith Girdler PDF (316.6 KB)
Submission 19 - Individual (not for publication) PDF (295.4 KB)
Submission 20 - Canberra Mental Health Forum PDF (617.1 KB)
Submission 21 - Meridian PDF (481.2 KB)
Submission 22 - Communities@Work Galilee School PDF (1.2 MB)
Submission 23 - Carers ACT PDF (890.2 KB)
Submission 24 - Mental Health Community Coalition ACT PDF (387.5 KB)
Submission 25 - Individual PDF (303.3 KB)
Submission 26 - Individual (Name withheld) PDF (327.0 KB)
Submission 27 - Marathon Health (headspace Canberra) PDF (421.1 KB)
Submission 28 - Not for publication PDF (243.3 KB)
Submission 29 - ACT Council of Social Service Inc. (ACTCOSS) PDF (335.7 KB)
Submission 30 - Individual PDF (291.4 KB)
Submission 31 - Individual (not for publication) PDF (242.7 KB)
Submission 32 - Families and Friends for Drug Law Reform PDF (4.2 MB)

Go to current public hearings schedule

View committee hearings transcripts

Public hearings:

Tuesday, 26 May 2020, 9:30am - 11:30am

Tuesday, 2 June 2020, 9:30am - 11:30am

Tuesday, 30 June 2020, 9:30am - 11:20am

Tuesday, 14 July 2020, 9:30am - 10:00am

QON 01 - Adolescent Mental Health Inpatient Unit PDF (167.5 KB)
QON 02 - Services for children and young people PDF (233.5 KB)
QON 03 - CHN partnership PDF (157.6 KB)
QON 04 - Menslink funding PDF (165.6 KB)
QON 05 - Mental health and youth detention PDF (196.5 KB)
QON 06 - Dyslexia assessments PDF (65.3 KB)
QON 07 - Mental health and hospitals PDF (168.0 KB)
QON 08 - PACER program PDF (165.8 KB)
QON 09 - Youth navigation portal PDF (163.3 KB)
QON 10 - Self-help support services PDF (180.7 KB)
QON 11 - Youth mental health portal PDF (169.9 KB)
QON 12 - Youth suicide PDF (186.8 KB)
QON 13 - Adolescent mental health unit PDF (164.3 KB)
QON 14 - Deakin Clinic PDF (194.9 KB)
QON 15 - Mental health supports at schools PDF (210.8 KB)
QON 16 - Youth Aware of Mental Health (YAM) program PDF (171.5 KB)
QON 17 - Mental health and out of home care PDF (194.4 KB)
QON 18 - OOHC and youth offending PDF (189.6 KB)
QON 19 - Respite care PDF (104.5 KB)
QTON 01 - Eating Disorder Rehabilitation Centre PDF (177.2 KB)
QTON 02 - Evidence-based practices PDF (106.4 KB)
QTON 03 - Respite beds for young people PDF (163.0 KB)
Report 9 - Youth Mental Health in the ACT PDF (864.8 KB) Word (4.5 MB)
Response to Recommendation 19 - Youth Mental Health - tabled 27 August 2020 PDF (321.7 KB)
Response to Recommendation 48 - Youth Mental Health - tabled 27 August 2020 PDF (359.6 KB)

Acknowledgement of Country

We acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the ACT, the Ngunnawal people. We acknowledge and respect their continuing culture and the contribution they make to the life of this city and this region.