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Hansard, June 2, GOTAFE Mental Health Forum

Posted June 03, 2014


CATHY McGOWAN (Indi) (16:07): On Friday, 16 May, I went to GOTAFE in Wangaratta to attend a forum on rural mental health. The forum was organised by a hardworking group of students currently studying for the certificate IV in community services. In this speech I want to acknowledge their work, to say a most sincere thankyou and to encourage them to continue to take action on this very important topic. 

The forum brought together over 50 mental health professionals and students from across Indi to discuss mental health issues and challenges faced by mental health professionals and community members. One of the major issues highlighted is coordination of services. Research commissioned by Medibank in 2013 states that coordination of services is actually a national issue.

The forum heard that in Australia we spend at least $28.6 billion per year supporting people with mental illness. There is a lot happening, but it is often hard to know what, where and how to access services, professionals and care.

This forum began this important process of sharing information, increasing awareness and bringing together service providers, users, carers, politicians and interested community members. Warm congratulations to the organisers, the students, the teachers and the participants. I was so proud to be involved in this very important first step and I look forward to being invited to similar forums right across Indi.

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