Good news! Australian Mental Health Party

If you’re based in Western Australia or Queensland this Federal election, you’re in luck!  You have the opportunity to consider candidates from the Australian Mental Health Party who are determined to see evidence based and effective mental health made a federal priority. According to their election material:

“The Australian Mental Health Party is a new federal political party focused on people. We stand for better mental health and well-being, a more inclusive society and a smarter economy. Our party draws all people together to make optimal mental health and well-being a priority. Core values of empowerment, equality, better support and meaningful connection, drive us forward in our vision for change.”

More information about both candidates can be found on the Australian Mental Health Party website here along with an interesting article on the Federal budget.

If people want to get involved to support the candidates, here are some ideas:

Mental Health Reference Group – Last chance to comment on drafts- closing 17th May

Against the immediate demands of day to day life, tasks like writing a response to a committee draft can seem pretty low priority. But don’t be fooled, Medicare policy is central to adequate community access to mental health support, and in its current form it is wholly insufficient. The Mental Health Reference Group have put out a draft policy, and while there is much in it to be applauded, the APS’s promotion of their multi-psychologist stepped care model is so awful the issues could not be resolved by the group at the time. Their recommendation to convene another group is one fraught with risk as the new group may not be as familiar with the impacts on the community of the multi-psychologist approach to stepped care.  Please read through the Mental Health Reference Group report and submit your comments. We would suggest requesting that the original group be reconvened to resolve the issues around the APS model once and for all. Stepped care in no way requires multiple psychologists, only sufficient access to the psychologist of the client’s choice according to their assessed need, and the evidence base.

Please also review the Allied Health draft as this contains other relevant recommendations for psychologists around diagnosis and service provision to people with neuro-atypical presentations, pervasive developmental disorder, or disability.

Comments in writing should go to MBSReviews@health.gov.au.