Action plan – we need you

We know you how much you care about your professional future, and the future of your colleagues. That’s why we’re calling on you to set aside just 30 minutes, each day, over the next week. Thirty minutes each day will allow you to address at least two of the tasks below by Friday! We believe that with your help, there may be a chance to turn things around.

What you can do now

Top priority 1: Provide feedback to the APS MBS Expert Committee (APS Members) and encourage others to do the same.

  1. Complete the email survey provided to you with the green paper on the 25th of March. Due 7th April. (Contact mbsconsult@psychology.org.au if you haven’t received the email or can’t access it).
  1. Encourage at least one of your colleagues to complete the survey. There has never been a more important time to use our personal influence to ensure the voices of registered psychologists are heard by the APS.
  1. Write a letter expressing your concerns on the APS Green Paper. Write to MBSconsult@psychology.org.au by Friday 5th April. RAPS believe there are not enough endorsed psychologists to serve populations. The model does not promote continuity of care. The levels of severity should only affect number of sessions given not WHO provides the sessions.

Top priority 2: Lodge a submission to Australia’s Productivity Commission Inquiry into the economic impacts of mental health.

  1. Review the Productivity Commission Issues Paper. A lovely comprehensive document, which outlines the scope and methods of the inquiry. Each section offers straightforward questions you can base your submission on (brief is fine!). This is a critical opportunity to provide Government with your advice around factors influencing mental health in our communities. Your input will help form the basis of the inquiry itself.
  1. Submissions due Friday 5th April.  Lodge online here (this link will take you to the submission lodgement page).
    Or via Australia Post mail to: Mental Health Inquiry, Productivity Commission, GPO Box 1428, Canberra City ACT 2601

Top priority 3. Ask the Medicare Benefits Schedule Review Taskforce to reconvene the old/existing Mental Health Reference Group

  1. Provide a submission on the MBSRT: Mental Health Reference Group Report, recommending that the current/existing MHRG members be reinstated (not a new group created) to resolve the critical issues caused by the existing 2-tier structure, and APS’s recent submission for 3-tiers of psychology professionals under Medicare. There is a very real risk that the recommendation for further debate will be ignored, and instead the APS 3-tier submission will be adopted without opposition, OR the current 2-tier system will continue.  The only opportunity we have to resolve this once and for all is to get the same MHRG members back together to work out an effective (Pirkis, et. al., 2011) and evidence based solution (1-Tier).
  1. The MHRG report is open for consultation until 17th May 2019.
  1. There are several excellent recommendations within the report, and you may wish to review and provide support/comment on these as you see fit.

Priority 4. ACCC –Australian Competition and Consumer Commission – you can fill in a contact form.

In response to the APS attempts to restrict trade and misrepresent registered psychologists, an ACCC group submission has been developed.  If you are interested in supporting and signing the ACCC group submission please send an email asap to violethislop@gmail.com with the details listed below.She will contact you for your signature when the document is ready.

  1. Your email address
  2. State whether you are a current APS Member or if not,
  3. State when you were a member,
  4. State the name you are registered in,
  5. State whether you are non-endorsed,
  6. State your area of endorsement

Priority 6. Resign from the APS.

Priority 7. Join AAPI.

This group will replace the APS and treat all psychologists equally. Visit http://www.aapoz.com. Part time membership is $100 a year.

Priority 8. Consider donating to the AAPI legal fund to fight APS

Note:  All donations are earmarked for the legal fund and remain linked to you. If AAPi is unable to raise 100k, they will return the monies to you. AAPI legal fund payment details:

BSB: 182512

Account: 961170248

Acct Name: AAPI Fighting Fund

Priority 9. Tell the public!

The public are most affected by changes to their ability to access affordable and local mental health care from the provider of their choice. Go to Community Run, where you can sign an “Enough is Enough” petition and share the link through Facebook, Twitter, email etc.

Priority 10. Letter to Psych Board (AHPRA)

Priority 11. Contact your Local Federal Member.

Visit the website of Australian Parliament House, and look up your local Member’s contact information. Tell them about your concerns.

Priority 12. Join the Australian Psychologist Facebook page.

They are a very supportive, closed, group and a relatively safe space for open discussion. The “files” section of the AP page has lots of submission examples etc. Some people have mentioned issues joining but I have been assured that this is no longer the case.