20 August 2019

MEDIA STATEMENT

Firstly, the NSW Mental Health Commission would like to pay respects to the people, families and communities affected by the recent incident in the Sydney CBD. Wherever violence occurs, it is always a tragedy that affects those directly impacted, as well as passers-by, first responders and community members. We encourage you to reach out for support if you feel the need for assistance or someone to talk to.

When such traumatic events unfold, and mental health issues are raised, we need to respect the victims of such incidents, and be mindful of how the media portrays people with mental illness. People with mental health issues rarely harm others, but when unfortunate or tragic events unfold, we need to have compassionate responses for all involved.

The Mental Health Commission of NSW believes that it is important that all people who develop a mental health issue have the opportunity to get support and treatment from when they first need it. These services need to provide compassionate, evidence based and timely interventions. These interventions will sometimes need to be clinical responses and/or based in hospital settings and sometimes could be community responses and/or based on peer support.

As the facts of the event are uncovered and judicial and coronial processes are undertaken, we need to recognise that there are good efforts across our systems to support people, sometimes in difficult and complex circumstances. But when tragedies do occur, we need to reflect and consider how we can improve our response to people in mental health crisis, and support the community as well.

ENDS

Media enquiries:

Joanna Durney
Manager, Engagement and Communications
Call 02 9859 5200 or 0477 721 339
Email joanna.durney@mhc.nsw.gov.au

About the Mental Health Commission of New South Wales
The Mental Health Commission of NSW was established under the Mental Health Commission Act 2012 and came into operation on 1 July 2012. The Commission is an independent statutory agency responsible for monitoring, reviewing and improving mental health and wellbeing for people in NSW. The Commission works with government and the
community to secure better mental health and wellbeing for everyone, and to ensure the availability of appropriate supports in or close to home when people are unwell or at risk of becoming unwell. In all its work, the Commission is guided by the lived experience of people with lived experience of mental health issues and caring, their families and kinship groups.
Support services
If this story raises concerns or distress for you or someone you know, the following services are available to provide support and assistance:
NSW Mental Health Line: 1800 011 511
Lifeline: 13 11 14
Kids Helpline: 1800 55 1800

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Last updated: 23 August 2019