Green Light for Mental Health

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In a statement this morning, the Chair of Australia’s Mental Health Commission Professor, Alan Fels, has criticised both major parties for failing to represent the interests of Australians for better mental health care. He said, “On behalf of the more than 3 million Australians who will experience a mental health difficulty this year, and their […]

Megan

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I have been watching the Alliance for Better Access campaign with great interest. I’m frustrated and very disappointed at the lack of recognition of the issue from our politicians and the formulaic non-answers that are given when they do finally respond to queries. Additionally, there is a certain irony in spending millions of dollars on […]

Leah

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My name is Leah (not my real name). I am 46 years old and a survivor of Child Sexual Abuse. I was abused at the age of 8 until I was 10. My family never knew too much about the abuse due to the fact that I was ashamed of it and being so young […]

More or Less Spin?

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Since August last year we have waited for the Minister for Mental Health to talk with us about the impact of cuts to the Better Access to Mental Health Care initiative. So far our patience across those 8 months has not paid off. However tonight the Minister will be on ABC’s ‘Q&A’ program where many […]

Dear Minister

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Congratulations Mark Butler MP, for launching the Clinical Practice Guidelines on Management of Borderline Personality Disorder. You can find them right here. There are some excellent points made in this well-researched document. In particular, page 56 of those Guidelines describe the characteristics of effective psychological treatments for BPD. It quite rightly points out that therapy […]

Minister ignores mental health problem

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A few days ago our petition was tabled in parliament. That is, 11,653 Australians have called on our political representatives to change Medicare. These members of the voting public are asking for patients diagnosed with mental health condition to be given affordable access to between 15 and 20 appointments of psychological treatment if needed per […]

Greens Backflip on Mental Health Ultimatum

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For those who have been following this issue for a while, you’d be familiar with the pledge that The Greens made to disallow the cuts to the Better Access initiative following the senate inquiry on mental health care in 2011. Senator Penny Wright, mental health spokesperson for The Greens, issued a statement on 24 November […]

Minister’s claim a work of fiction

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At the beginning of the year Medicare appointments for psychological treatment were cut down to just ten sessions. These cuts have been on the horizon since May 2011, and all of that time, we have been expressing to the Government that this decision is a massive mistake. Cutting off access to therapy at 10 sessions […]

Leaked Memo – ATAPS Not Coping

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A leaked memo has revealed that the ATAPS program is struggling to cope with the demands for psychological treatment, even in metropolitan areas where there are large numbers of mental health practitioners available. Just before Christmas, the Alliance for Better Access received an internal memo about the ATAPS program in the South Brisbane Metro area, […]

Falling rate of access to mental health care

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In several articles published over the last few weeks, the Federal Minister for Mental Health has defended against criticism that the ATAPS program is not able to meet the demand for mental health care. On Friday, the Minister was not able to provide any figures to confirm that he had met his targeted pledge of […]