The Mental Health Community Coalition of the ACT (MHCC ACT) commends the ACT Government on the Raise the Age Discussion Paper. MHCC ACT strongly supports an alternative approach based on access to wrap around early supports for vulnerable children and their families in the ACT.
MHCC ACT CEO Bec Cody states, “Raising the age of criminal responsibility from 10 to 14 years is the first step in better supporting the children of our community. What is needed now is a more holistic support system that identifies vulnerable children and their families early to mitigate the risk of them entering the criminal justice system.”
“Addressing the social determinants that put children at risk, such as mental health and trauma, will divert young people from imprisonment, and from the added trauma of the criminal justice system.”
“Currently we are seeing a gap in child mental health, in ages 0-12 years, an area that needs more funding and stronger programs to support youth at a key stage of their development.”
“The Raise the Age discussion paper now allows us to look at better ways to support children, their families and support people. From a mental health perspective, we need to focus on early intervention and prevention, and fund programs that deliver this to our vulnerable youth” says Bec Cody.
The ACT Government are seeking community input to the Raise the Age discussion paper, with an alternative model to the youth justice system as a key subject for response.
MHCC ACT encourages the community sector and members to make a submission in response to the paper in support of the wellbeing of vulnerable children in our community.
Read the discussion paper and make your submission by 5 August 2021: https://yoursayconversations.act.gov.au/raising-minimum-age-criminal-responsibility
Media Contact: Bec Cody, Chief Executive Officer
(02) 5104 7716, Bec.Cody@mhccact.org.au
Communications Officer: Alison Hall, (02) 5104 7711
MHCC ACT is the peak body for community mental health services in the ACT. Find out more about MHCC ACT at www.mhccact.org.au.