Members of NSW Parliament from across the political divide have united to form the NSW Parliamentary Friends of Mental Health.
More than 20 NSW parliamentarians from both the Legislative Assembly and Legislative Council have joined the group, with Scott Farlow MLC elected Chair and Anna Watson MP elected Deputy Chair.
The purpose of the Friendship Group is to raise awareness and understanding of those affected by mental health, support community events as well as providing a forum for discussion on the issue in the NSW Parliament.
Scott Farlow MLC said he was overwhelmed by the support, determination and commitment of Members to work together to raise awareness for an issue that affects all sectors of the community.
“We need to ensure we keep increasing awareness of mental health in NSW. Together, across all sides of politics, we have a constructive group that represents Parliament in this important cause,” Mr Farlow said.
“I am looking forward to working across the Parliament on further strategies to promote issues particularly related to early intervention, suicide prevention and supporting the role of non-government organisations.”
Anna Watson MP, Deputy Chair, said the establishment of NSW Parliamentary Friends of Mental Health shows that we, as State MPs, across party lines, are united in ensuring that people affected by mental health and their families have a direct voice in the State Parliament.
John Feneley, NSW Mental Health Commissioner, who joins the group as an associate member, welcomed the formation of the group.
“It’s great that NSW parliamentarians have made it clear that Mental Health awareness is a major priority. I look forward to meeting with the Parliamentary Friends and representing the sector in discussions,” Mr Feneley said.