The Australian Psychological Society (APS) welcomes today’s announcement by the Government of much-needed reform to the mental health system through a regionalised approach to deliver better tailored care to people with mental health problems.
The Government today outlined its response to the National Mental Health Commission report, Contributing Lives, Thriving Communities – Review of Mental Health Programmes and Services.
Responding to the announcement, Executive Director of the APS Professor Lyn Littlefield said, “We welcome mental health reform that will lead to better care for people with mental health issues.”
“The proposed changes, including increased access to online mental health interventions and tailored packages of care for people with severe, chronic and complex conditions through Primary Health Networks (PHNs) across Australia, will lead to a more integrated and coordinated approach to their mental health care.”
The APS also welcomed the focus on children and young people and making Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mental health a priority.
The APS has long maintained that it is critical to provide universal access to mental health care under Medicare and is pleased that this will continue to be provided through Better Access.
Professor Littlefield said, “The Government has acknowledged the effectiveness and importance of the Better Access Initiative, which delivers psychological services under Medicare to large numbers of Australians.
“The APS looks forward to working closely with the Government on the implementation of the reform and to support the Primary Health Networks in their new role in delivering on these important initiatives.”