Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Cutting access to mental health services. Great Australia!

Join us in a collective effort to tell our politicians right across Australia that people with a mental health condition need affordable access to psychological care, and for long enough to actually recover. We are asking YOU, and all Australians, to stand with us in opposition to the planned cuts flagged at the end of this year. What we need you to do is spread the word about the coming cuts to psychological treatment and gather together as many people as possible to express our opposition as one on Monday 17 September 2012. The Alliance for Better Access is calling for a National Day of Action!
An easy thing you can do to get started is to spread the word, telling everyone you know who cares about mental health in Australia, that by the end of the year the Federal Government plans to cut psychological treatment services down to just ten visits. Under the previous system, those diagnosed with a mental health disorder could receive up to 18 appointments. The cuts down to just ten sessions falls well below minimum treatment guidelines recognised around the world, which state that those who are diagnosed with depression and anxiety should be offered a minimum of 15 to 20 appointments of psychological care.
Another simple thing you can do to help out, is to encourage others to join with us, by linking to our public event via Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/events/234316450023944/). All they need to do is login to Facebook and click the 'Join' button on the top right of the page. This page will provide further details about activities and ongoing discussions about the National Day of Action as it develops. You can also share our flier and this webpage you are reading right now, via Twitter and other forms of social media. Let other people know that if they feel strongly about looking after people going through hard times, then they can spread the word too.
But by far, the most important element of this united effort, is to send a clear signal on Monday 17 September 2012. Our message needs to come from every kind of person, and from every place right across Australia, all at once. In particular, the Federal Government needs to hear that this vital issue has not gone away. They need to see that Australians still feel strongly about the need to help every person get back on their feet and recover from mental health conditions, whenever we can.
Here are the some of the BEST WAYS you can take action on Monday 17 September 2012:
Do you have a blog? Write a blog post expressing your opposition to the cuts. Then let us know on our contacts pageso we can link back to your blog post.
Write a letter to the editor of a newspaper, calling on our politicians to provide a system that allows for evidence-based mental health care
Write to your Federal MPs and Senators - a nice list of contact details can be found here
Write to The Hon Mark Butler MP, Federal Minister for Mental Health
Contact your federal MP to arrange a meeting and discuss the cuts. Ask them how people are supposed to recover from a mental health condition if they need more than ten visits with a therapist.

Other Ways to ASSIST

In addition to expressing your opposition with us in the national day of action, we have a petition at both CommunityRunand Change.org which you can sign. Those who would like to discuss this important issue more can meet with others on our Facebook Group.
If you feel very strongly about this, you can take this directly to our Prime Minister, Julia Gillard:http://www.pm.gov.au/contact-your-pm/. Other alternatives include writing to Concetta Fierravanti-Wells, the Shadow Minister for Mental Health, or Senator Penny Wright, senator for The Greens on Mental Health. Make your message loud and clear - ten sessions is not enough. Every voice makes a difference!
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