Alliance for Better Access

The following blog posts relate to an action group called the Alliance for Better Access which opposed the 2011 decision of the Australian Federal Government to set a maximum cap of ten sessions for access to psychological care. The original group still remains on Facebook.

The medium is the message

Posted · Add Comment

In the marketplace of ideas, topics about mental health can be a bit of a hard-sell. Digital media promises more opportunities for open dialogue and debate, however that depends on what gets published and how engagement with the reader is structured and controlled. When it comes to mental health care, we need to make contrasting […]

Divisive Conversations

Posted · Add Comment

A few days ago I came across an article in The Conversation which contained a couple of errors and points worth clarifying. I’d hoped to put them in the comment thread, but found that I’d missed the 72 hour window. Seems a bit short to cut people off after that, but in any case I […]

What’s new about NewAccess?

Posted · Add Comment

A few days ago we heard that BeyondBlue is now calling for their NewAccess program to be rolled out nationally and funded by Medicare. We’ve talked about NewAccess a couple of times previously on our Facebook Group (in July 2013, in August 2013, in March 2016 (twice), and November 2018). A number of the concerns we […]

Better Access to Telepsychology

Posted · Add Comment

Accessing mental health care during a pandemic has presented some challenges. Medicare restrictions are making it much harder than it needs to be when delivering psychological care. In this short post, I’ll try to summarise the main problem areas and offer a few constructive solutions. Background context Australians are gradually coming around to the idea […]

Similarities and differences

Posted · Add Comment

In the Medicare system, the Better Access to Mental Health Care refers patients with an eligible disorder to see a therapist for evidence-based psychological care. Depending on your choice of provider, you may receive as little back from Medicare as $74.80 or as much as $124.50 for a one hour appointment. Yet all eligible providers […]

One more try…

Posted · 3 Comments

For over a decade now I have tried to convince politicians of the need to address mental health care. For my part, the main focus has been on basic public access to psychological care in the community. I’ve largely been motivated by an optimistic notion of democracy: that if we inform our politicians adequately then […]

Louisa’s story

Posted · Add Comment

Louisa had a difficult life but never showed it. Putting on a brave face was how she got by. Nobody knew about her abusive childhood and only those closest to her were trusted with why she really left her husband. Thinking about it made her break down, collapsing and weeping, for hours on end. Frankly, […]

A re-design of psychological care

Posted · Add Comment

Going into the federal election last week, the Alliance for Better Access reflected about our position and decided on a change of stance to suit the times. We share the following summary for your own thoughts and discussion in the comment thread below. If you support us, please sign our online petition. The following areas of […]

A change in position

Posted · Add Comment

The Alliance for Better Access is now five years old. Across those years we have done almost everything you can imagine to help our politicians understand the need to improve the mental health policies of Medicare (meetings with both sides of government, petitions, youtube clips, radio interviews, television, email campaigns, memes, etc). Our position has […]

A game of Chinese whispers

Posted · Add Comment

The Australian Government held a party inviting the most prominent media personalities in mental health care. Now it was time for a game of Chinese Whispers. The Minister for Health leaned over to the closest of her appointed ‘experts’ and whispered softly in his ear, “No new funding, pass it on.” Each player had their […]