Right now, getting enough mental health treatment is adding to the problems of thousands of Australians reaching out for help. When the Government reduced access to therapy down to ten appointments earlier this year, many questioned how they would cope, let alone whether they could recover in that time. The system needs a re-think and that's why the Alliance for Better Access is petitioning the Senate for change. We have developed a model for change showing how the Medicare system would look if it was aligned with research and actually focused on the needs of people who seek psychological treatment.
We are simply calling for Medicare to grant access to the standard of treatment recommended by research when someone is identified as meeting the criteria for a mental health disorder. The model we suggest removes the stigma for those who need more than 5 to 10 appointments, by abolishing the label that such people are an "exceptional" or abnormal case. Our revised model lets people make contact with their own preferred mental health practitioner, right from the beginning of the process, and enables those who are most qualified to undertake a psychological evaluation to develop a treatment plan that can be approved by a GP. Our calculations show that despite expanding access to treatment for those who need it, the new model could potentially save the Commonwealth between $57 million and $77 million each year. Please take a look at our proposed model and tell us what you think.
Join with us in expressing to our politicians that scaling back public access to psychological treatment is not on. By the end of today we need 100 more signatures for our petition at Change.org. Please add your name to our petition and stand up for mental health in Australia. Tell your family, tell your friends, paste this link on Facebook, and tweet it out there. Every voice makes a difference.
Our petition can be found at https://www.change.org/en-AU/petitions/australia-needs-better-access-to-psychological-treatment
Tell us what YOU think of our model in the comments below. Many thanks!