As we see in the new year, the Australian Mental Health Party wishes to observe some recent activity.

One of our key policies concerns the extent of Medicare coverage for people seeking psychological support. A recent federal review of the currently provided services has sparked a debate between mental health care professionals. This has unfortunately led to a focus on the financial reward for the practitioner, rather than what is best for those in need of care. We take a firm stance that the mental health care system must serve the best interests of those who access care. Our position as a party (expressed at our petition), is that there should be one standard Medicare rate for psychological care. That small change will provide fair and consistent support when people reach out for help. The more we invest in our community’s wellbeing, the better off we all are.

Another key focus of ours is on suicide rates. A recent review showed a link between childhood maltreatment and increased suicidality in adulthood. While this is a fairly obvious link, it has important implications for policy. Inadequate access to support across the lifespan turns a blind eye to the long term negative impact of traumatic experiences during our younger years of life. People who are disconnected, marginalised, or excluded from care, are at the greatest risk.

Looking behind the scenes, as the federal election gradually approaches, we wish to further connect with the wider community, face to face. Our next social event will be a quiz night held in Perth, titled ‘Mind Games’. This will happen on the 28th of March. More details will follow so stay in touch.

Callum is a valued member of our team, and like countless other Australians, he sees the importance of good mental health across society. In our view, if we hope to make a positive change to society, then we need every Australian to connect with these issues in some way. If you would like to get involved and help us find better solutions, please contact us (at communications@amhp.org.au). We would love to hear from you!

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