New ACT Chief Psychiatrist appointed

Shane Rattenbury, MLA

Dr Denise Riordan has been appointed as the ACT’s new Chief Psychiatrist.

Dr Riordan is currently the Northern Territory Chief Psychiatrist and has worked in mental health for over 30 years in the public sector, ten of which were as Staff Specialist and Clinical Director of the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) in the ACT.

The most senior medical practitioner within Mental Health, Justice Health and Alcohol and Drug Services (MHJHADS), Dr Riordan says she’s excited about returning to the ACT to take up this important and challenging role.

“I feel privileged to have been given this opportunity. ACT Health continues to work collaboratively with people who use the service and their carers to ensure it is a recovery focused and contemporary service,” Dr Riordan said.

“The commitment of staff within the service as well as in all the other organisations working to help improve the lives of all people with mental health related issues is very energising and motivating. There is a lot of work ahead for everyone, but it is work that is very fulfilling because of the potential it has to impact positively on the lives of so many people, and our whole community,” Dr Riordan said.

Comments attributable to the Minister for Mental Health Shane Rattenbury:

“Today’s announcement marks another important step in our efforts to develop a renewed vision for mental health in the ACT. The appointment of a permanent Chief Psychiatrist will provide important strategic leadership and direction for our mental health system.

“Dr Riordan will work closely with the Coordinator-General of the newly established Office for Mental Health and other stakeholders in this role.

“We know that in improving coordination across the mental health system, we can better address some of the underlying factors that can influence mental health outcomes – providing the right care as early as possible, and addressing the underlying factors contributing to mental illness.

“I look forward to working with Dr Riordan as we seek to improve support available to those experiencing mental illness in our community.”