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 […]

Disadvantaging the disadvantaged

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Since writing our last piece about the reach of Medicare to disadvantaged people, we have received information that the Federal Government is questioning how we came up with our figures. Those of you who read the last article would know that we explained in detail where all of the figures came from and how we […]

Countering the spin

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Politicians rely on spin to justify cutting spending on public access to mental health treatment. In the current situation, the Government has relied on a simplistic interpretation of data from the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS). The argument goes that if around 80% of people use less than 6 sessions in Medicare, then this must mean […]

Alice

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I’m 26 years old. I’ve lived the past 8 of those years with an eating disorder (anorexia nervosa, purge-type), and a further 5 years prior to that having engaged in various other methods of self-destructive behaviours. These destructive behaviors were both symptomatic and a desperate attempt to “self-treat” a greater internal pain beyond my control […]

Sally

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In 2009 I was referred for counselling. Nothing that other people saw as major or extreme had happened. There were a build up of stressors. Work had changed considerably & was causing a lot of people in my office on-gong stress. There wasn’t any support for staff, we just had to deal with it. At […]