CATHY McGOWAN (Indi) (16:37): The focus on mental health across the country during Mental Health Week from 5 to 11 October was fantastic. The ABC's promotion 'Mental As' deserves a special mention. It was great listening and viewing, and played a big role in the raising of awareness.
In my electorate of Indi we celebrated World Mental Health Day on Friday, October 10 with a luncheon at Shimla restaurant in Bright. It was a chance for people to get together and talk about mental health issues being faced in the community and how we can better coordinate services. It was also a chance to show those suffering from mental health problems that they are not alone and that their community will support them.
I will continue to work with people to support improved coordination of services and funding both in Indi and across the rural community. I give special thanks to the organisers, Cesare and Prue, and their staff for the terrific Indian food and to everybody who attended, including the Bright sponsors. Speakers Pauline Saunier and Cath Smith gave very moving talks, both having been impacted by mental health issues in different ways.
I call on my colleagues here in parliament to consider an increase in funding from the federal government in 2015 and 2016 for improved coordination and delivery of mental health services. It is very important that we raise awareness and understanding of how mental health issues are impacting on our community.