Psychologists applaud mental health boost

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The Australian Psychological Society (APS) wholeheartedly welcomes the Federal Government’s announcement of$1.8 billion to improve the nation’s mental health system. The announcement recognises the mental health crisis in Australia and shows the Government has been responsive to the community in their cry for help.

In focusing the reforms in several main areas:

  • ·increased primary care and clinical services in the community, including new team work arrangements for psychiatrists, GP’s, psychologists and mental health nurses;
  • new respite services and provision of extra personal helpers for people with mental illness, their families and carers;
  • more telephone counselling and web based services to increase availability of information and support;
  • funding to help parents and school communities identify and respond to children at risk of mental illness; and
  • improved services for mentally ill people also fighting a drug or alcohol addiction,

the government is responding in a positive and timely manner, according to APS Executive Director, Professor Lyn Littlefield.

“Access to psychologists through GP’s and psychiatrists supported by Medicare will certainly make high quality, affordable mental healthcare more accessible for many Australians.”

“We recognise the Federal Government has made a huge commitment to establish these initiatives, We now urge all State Governments to match the Federal Government and provide additional funding for public health services in both the community and acute sector and for supported accommodation,” said Prof Littlefield.

The APS also welcomed the Government’s announcement of additional funding for university places for clinical psychologists.“Obviously this injection of funding will help ensure an adequate workforce for the future without which these reforms will not be sustainable,” said Prof Littlefield.

As the peak professional body for psychologists in Australia, the APS looks forward to involvement with the government, consumer groups and the non-government sector in a strategic and coordinated approach to the design of the detailed arrangements of these proposed new services, to provide a greatly improved mental health system for all Australians.

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APS Executive Director, Professor Lyn Littlefield and APS President, Amanda Gordon, are available for interview.

For more information contact:

Elaine Grant
Communications Manager
Australian Psychological Society
03 8662 3363
0412 683 068