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ACT psychiatric services

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The Minister for Health, Dr. A. J. Forbes, announced today

that the Government has approved the first stage of a three-part plan for

the development of psychiatric services in the A.C.T..

The plan, by Dr. B0 Hennessy, Director of Psychiatry, A.C.T.

Health Services Branch, Commonwealth Department of Health, envisages

psychiatric services based on preventive and early treatment lines and

working in the closest possible co-operation with all interested community


Dr. Forbes said stage one of the plan included the provision

of additional staff for;

o Establishing a nucleus of senior staff for planning,

basic training and evaluation. .

. Providing a community and emergency psychiatric service.

. Expanding the psychiatric facilities at. Canberra Hospital.

. Expanding the Child Guidance Service - including the

establishment of a full second clinic.

. Strengthening existing intellectual handicap services.

o Planning mental health hostels.

Dr, Forbes said it was hoped to recruit the necessary staff for stage one of

the plan over a period of about 12 months. This staff would include

psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, health visitors and a number

of other specialist staff as well as clerical and supporting staff.

Before reaching decisions on stages two and three of Dr.

Henessy's plan, the Government required estimates of the capital and

recurrent costs involved and also to consider the results of a proposed

mental health survey of the A.C.T. population. ·

Dr. Forbes said the decision to proceed with stage one of the

plan for psychiatric services marked a significant step in the development of

fully comprehensive health services for the A.C.T. based on the most modern

concepts. To assist in public understanding of these concepts, Dr, Hennessy'

report would be made available to all interested groups and individuals.

Canberra, .

19th November, 19^9»