Why does medicare provide rebates for up to 50 psychiatrist appointments annually but only 10 psychology/social worker/mental health occupational therapist sessions per year? Why can't I, the consumer, in conjunction with my GP choose a more appropriate mix of support?

user picture Bob McBob · 5 years ago · 622 votes · 76 comments
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Sadly, this important debate never actually happened. Will OurSay follow up with the new Minister for Health and the mental health representatives from other political parties?
Ben Mullings · 5 years ago
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I am looking forward to hearing from the new Minister for Mental Health, Jacinta Collins, about this. Mark Butler MP agreed to meet us in July 2013 to discuss the serious issue, but after the ALP leadership spill now we have a new Minister. Let's hope that the new Minister honours the former Minister's agreement to meet us as we have patiently waited for several years to resolve this problem. Even better, it would be great if the Minister had a fresh perspective on the detrimental impact of the mental health cuts and would perhaps pledge to restore the program! :)
Ben Mullings · 5 years ago
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Sorry Graham Bell. Disagree. This is the old argument. Mental illness can never be fixed. We just move into recovery. I have had 11 years in recovery and became unwell again. When you live with a mental illness you always live with it.
Abby Kedar · 5 years ago
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Sorry Graham Bell. Disagree. This is the old argument. Mental illness can never be fixed. We just move into recovery. I have had 11 years in recovery and became unwell again. When you live with a mental illness you always live with it.
Abby Kedar · 5 years ago
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Sorry Graham Bell. Disagree. This is the old argument. Mental illness can never be fixed. We just move into recovery. I have had 11 years in recovery and became unwell again. When you live with a mental illness you always live with it.
Abby Kedar · 5 years ago
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psychology/social worker/mental health occupational therapist visits shouldn't be underestimated in value.
Jane Deany · 5 years ago
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I totally agree, both medication and psychology play a vital role in management of mental illness. I am a mental health clinician and consumer. I am also in the position of utilising my sessions for the calender year; having merely built rapport and 'scratched the surface'. I do not need to see a psychiatrist at all. My GP is more than capable of managing medication. So tailoring to suit the needs of the individual would seem a sensible solution to a difficult and expensive problem.
Jen Markham · 5 years ago
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I wont argue Graham and you completely misunderstood my point :). People that can function and have an insight( lack of which is the symptom of the illness) I do not consider as mentally ill, rather disturbed or challenged, which is around 80% of the world population. I was talking about 'mentally ill" if you do not see the difference, think about it. And just as an example: Can person without both hands be a brain surgeon???
Zorica Ciganovic · 5 years ago
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Zorica - mentally ill can be fixed! And the quicker people get back into the system (good or bad) the better. The longer a person is in the mental health system and drugged the more they get trapped. Eventually, they believe the crap that they have to live the rest of their lives drugged with no hope of recovery. There are a few that won’t recover, there are more that don't want to recover and I make no judgment on them (long term it is the biggest mistake of their lives). Sadly, there are a huge number of great people put in the same box and are also handicapped by attitudes such as yours. It is simply not true people can’t recover from mental illness. When people that want to recover are given a chance I assure you MENTAL illness is a past experience. Believe it or not - mankind predominantly likes to feel they provide whether that is to their children, wives, husbands, family or to the community – they feel self-worth from giving not taking. Sitting at home focusing on oneself is MENTALLY UNHEALTHY and only drives a person further into the pit. All those that jump into the pit of depression alongside them are not helping the one they care for. Empathy is great, but enforcing ‘okay to be sick’ is not. And medication only numbs people into acceptance of their situation. We need to focus more on getting people out of the mental health trap quickly and back to a useful life. We need to help people to get the courage to get out of the pit and focus on the future – that might take some tough love at times, but long term it is essential. Someone once said ‘death is when all dreams are in the past.’ Sitting at home with nothing but drugs and sympathy will only make things worse. Here’s a trick – ask the depressed person for help! This is one way of taking their focus of themselves for a moment. Even if they don’t really help make a fuss how much they did. It starts to build a platform of worth.
Graham bell · 5 years ago
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Thanks for replying Graham. Appreciate the answers everyone. Hope things really do change.
Scyfo Funkay · 5 years ago
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