Mental Health Funding is a great step forward

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The Australian Psychological Society (APS) praises the mental health initiatives announced in last night’s Budget as a great step forward for the thousands of Australians who experience mental illness.

 APS President Amanda Gordon said, “This Budget shows a positive commitment to mental health by the Howard Government. As a result we hope that the next few years will see a significant increase in access to psychological treatment for members of our community who need these services.”

Key aspects of this year’s Budget included:

  • A commitment to provide MBS rebates for psychological services when referred by a GP or psychiatrist
  • Positive incentives for psychological services delivered in the context of team relationships between psychologists, GPs, psychiatrists and mental health nurses
  • Allocation of funding for extra postgraduate psychology training places in university training programs.

“We look forward to developing and instituting these positive initiatives as soon as possible,” said Ms Gordon. Details of the rebate fees, referral process and the amount by which the tertiary training places will be supported are yet to be made clear, and will be negotiated over the next few months.

“The next important and vital step is a commitment by the States to a program of enhancement and extension of acute and community-based mental health services,” said Ms Gordon. “We are looking to COAG to facilitate this and to ensure the integration and coordination of both public sector and private sector initiatives. In fact, the investment of resources and infrastructure reform by the States is as crucial as Medicare benefits to increasing the access to best practice services by community members.”

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For all media enquiries contact:

Clare Johnstone
Marketing and Public Relations Coordinator
Australian Psychological Society
03 8662 3301