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Matt speaks on Mental Health in Parliament

Mr MATT KEAN (Hornsby—Parliamentary Secretary) [6.26 p.m.]: It is fitting that the member for Clarence raises this important issue in a week when the national suicide rate is at its highest level in 13 years. This year alone more Australians will die from suicide than will be killed on our roads. It is a national disgrace and something needs to be done. I commend the member for Clarence for his advocacy on this important issue. In my view we as a State Government, combined with the Federal Government, need to spend as much money on suicide prevention campaigns and mental health awareness campaigns as we do on road safety campaigns. Those campaigns have had a huge impact on reducing the number of road deaths because they have increased public awareness. We can and must do the same for mental health and suicide prevention. What we do know, though, is that there is no silver bullet to solving this problem. That is why we need a range of measures such as more head space, more support, more acute care and more early intervention services. This is not a partisan issue; it is something we should all work together on to make sure we get a result because it is important for the future of our country.

To read the full Hansadr transcript click here.