Prime Minister has support of psychologists to address community challenges

The Australian Psychological Society (APS) congratulates Julia Gillard on her re-appointment as Prime Minister of Australia and looks forward to working productively with the Gillard government to address pressing community issues including health reform.

"This government is coming in at a time when the community is facing major challenges," APS president Professor Bob Montgomery said. "The APS is calling on this new government to address those challenges including inclusive health reform, improving access to mental health care and addressing the impact of climate change on the community."

He said that strong leadership would ensure that key issues were addressed including ensuring the delivery of treatment for common mental health disorders, providing schools and students with fully trained school psychologists, ensuring fair quality of life for those with a disability, as well as addressing issues such as the psychological wellbeing of asylum seekers, closing the gap in Indigenous health and managing the effects of climate change.

Professor Montgomery said that through their work with many Australians, from infants through to the elderly, psychologists and the APS were acutely aware of the need for major reforms, which could make a significant difference to improved health care, community wellbeing and national productivity.

There are over 24,000 psychologists in Australia.  With over 19,000 members and 40 Branches across the country, the Australian Psychological Society (APS) is the largest of all the non-medical health professional associations in Australia and represents the largest mental health and psychological workforce.

He said the APS had access to a vast pool of psychological expertise from both academic and professional service delivery perspectives that could assist in the reforms across a range of policy areas.

"We hope to work productively with the government and the APS believes we can contribute expertise that will lead to a better healthier Australia," Professor Montgomery said.

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The APS is the largest professional association for psychologists in Australia, representing more than 19,000 members. The APS is committed to advancing psychology as a discipline and profession. It spreads the message that psychologists make a difference to peoples' lives, through improving psychological knowledge and community wellbeing.

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