Prime Minister moves in the right direction

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The decision by COAG today to spend over $1 billion on new health initiatives, including a major mental health action plan has been hailed by the Australian Psychological Society as a major step in the right direction.

“At last the Government has seen fit to recognise the important contribution psychologists can make in conjunction with doctors in boosting the quality and availability of services available for the mentally ill,” said APS President, Amanda Gordon, quoting Mr Howard’s statement about the need to involve the psychologists and the medical profession generally in a commitment to develop a national action plan as soon as possible.

“We are also pleased to hear Victorian Premier Steve Brack’s comments regarding combating chronic disease such as obesity, diabetes and cancer. For a long time, the APS has emphasised that psychological interventions, if funded, can greatly assist in the reduction of these health problems, which are a major drain on the economy,” said Gordon.

“It is essential that the APS, as the peak body representing psychologists in Australia, be consulted in the development of the proposed action plan,” said Gordon.“We are ready to sit down with the government and the medical profession to work on the development of plans that will provide mental health services designed to prevent mental illness and provide for early intervention to prevent the development of chronic disease.”

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For more information contact:

Elaine Grant
Communications Manager
Australian Psychological Society
03 8662 3363
0412 683 068
www.psychology.org.au