Thanks for your Youth Mental Health in the ACT report

Subject: Thanks for your Youth Mental Health in the ACT report
Date: Fri, 14 Aug 2020 08:10:29 +1000
From: Bob Buckley (SOfASD Chair) <chair@sofasd.org.au>
To: LA Committee - EEYA <LACommitteeEEYA@parliament.act.gov.au>
CC: gentleman@act.gov.au, RATTENBURY <RATTENBURY@act.gov.au>, STEPHEN-SMITH <STEPHEN-SMITH@act.gov.au>, barr@act.gov.au

Dear Committee Members

Thank you for your report on Youth Mental Heath in the ACT. And particular thanks for the section and consequent recommendations specifically on autism (pp57-9).

It may interest you to know that federally funded mental health services like Lifeline, Headspace and Beyondblue are also unable to help many autistic callers with mental illness and suicide risk. These federally funded services refer autistic callers to a 24/7 unfunded and overstretched national hotline run by volunteers to meet the needs of autistic Australians. SOfASD feels that the ACT Government could raise this issue with relevant parts of COAG.

We are concerned that the sections of your report that focused on Behavioural Disorders and Suicide do not mention these risks for autistic youth.

We await with interest the ACT Government's response to your report.

And with an ACT election coming, we are very interested to see what response ACT political candidates have to the issues raised in your report ... and many others that affect autistic Canberrans.

Shortly after SOfASD's appearance before your Committee, ACT Police told the ABC that they intended to contact SOfASD. That has not happened.

Also, after the hearing (on 5/7/2020) SOfASD requested under the provisions of the Freedom of Information ACT (FoI) information about the training that they told you they had contracted. Their FoI response is overdue.

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Bob Buckley
Chair, Speaking Out for Autism Spectrum Disorder (SOfASD)

a voice for people living with Autism Spectrum Disorder in the ACT