Mental health services are limited to 10 visits in a calendar year. Help change that.
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One in four people will be affected by mental neurological disorders and there's a total of 450 million people worldwide suffering.
In a year one in every five Australians will experience a mental illness. Prevalence is the greatest amongst 18-24 year olds.
In Australia psychologists give patients 6 sessions and if the patient insists on a few more, he can go to a doctor and gets an extra four. These are paid by the government.
This equals to 10 sessions in a calendar year. After those sessions a patient is made to pay 110-125 dollars per session or more.
While some can get away with concession card benefits, the rest cannot.
This is affecting our youth and anyone who’s ever had a need to talk to a psychologist and this needs to be changed.
If the government can focus on covering this pay themselves or imposing a limit on how much a psychologist can charge, they can fix what is the number one issue with mental health in Australia:
Greed. A prioritization of money over mental health.
*Primary health care services received $50.6 billion in funding and the largest share of non-government funding, $24.3 billion, was directly from individuals.*--According to a study made by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare 2014 Australia’s health 2014.*
These are what they call out of pocket payments, the ones made after the tenth visit, and they create a few specific problems within the actual patient:
By choosing ten as the cut off limit they are quantifying needs and affecting the overall health of a person as he/she has to pace himself in terms of seeing a psychologist or risk losing his right completely.
We need to fix the problems that our federal government has with suicide, the accessibility an everyday person has to mental health services and make them work harder to communicate these said things.
Australia's suicide rate is the highest it has ever been (in ten years). In 2015, 3027 people ended their lives. That's 12.6 for every 100,000.
That's one every three hours.
This is a strange correlation for a country who claims funding has been on the rise (more on that a bit further down). *11.1 million dollars are being given towards helping preventing suicide in 2017. What does that mean for their services?
The Australian defense force in 2017-18 has just gotten 350 million dollars to prevent suicide and self harm.
We need to make them stop treating mental health as a luxury. It’s a necessity, a right, and we need to be looked after by the people who are in charge. They should be covering these costs.
According to a media release by the AIHW only 36 percent of last years increase in funding was provided by the Australian government while the rest was mainly given by state and territory governments. These numbers have remained stable for the last 5 years and speak volumes as to how little real help is being given by the people in charge (not to mention the incredibly lacking 4 per cent of funding from private health insurance funds).
By getting a petition running I’ll be able to present my case to the federal government (the Department of Health and the regional Primary Health Network) and show them that the community is upset and ready for a change. Whether through a re distribution within the mental health or other sectors (i.e less focus on advertising more on the actual product), a boost from the government (however unrealistic), a limitation on what a psychologist can gain on top of what the government gives him, a bulk billing network similar to public hospitals, or an integration of a new tax or HECs funding style option: out of pocket cold hard cash fees should not be allowed for this kind of service.
According to AIHW spokesperson Tim Beard, prescriptions for anti psychotics and anti depressants made up the majority of mental health related expenditure racking up at 57 and 36 per cent respectively.
With the exception of some cases the majority of the mental health funding goes towards an improper way of resolving treatment. People are being medicated and not being taught how to cope with the real issues at hand and these steep out of pocket feeds only work to undermine all that.
Regions in Italy operate with what's called the Trieste model. Here the community works as a whole to de institutionalize the mental health process and as a result suicide rates dropped over 30 per cent (and that was in 2006).
Countries like Argentina have 30 sessions covered per patient and this is from a country that is much less economically sound than Australia. In both countries Psychologists already gain pay from Medicare so the out of pocket payments should be controlled.
On a death rate per 100,000 Australia has 10.65 while Italy has 4. Not saying we have to change our entire model--but it's worth taking a look at how to solve this issue and if the least we can do is increase the amount of visits or abolish out of pocket payments (amongst increasing preventative measures in schools AND stopping the fact that people need to go to a doctor to get an appointment with a psychologist, which is belittling and hugely wasteful on time) then we should do it.
If the response is there's no money then: We should manage incorrect spending's such as fireworks and yearly celebrations in favor of helping each other.
According to the conversation.com and as a result of the budget release 17-18 "We lack a coherent national strategy to tackle mental health. New services have been established this year, but access to them may well depend on where you live or who is looking after you. This is chance, not good planning."
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