Mental health policy 'inadequate'

PATIENTS have expressed measured relief that the government has partially restored cuts to mental health services in the Better Access initiative, but are worried the changes don't go far enough.

Spokesperson for the Alliance for Better Access, Ben Mullings, said they would not be satisfied until there had been a full restoration of services as they were before the 2011 budget cuts.

He argued that the public expected evidence-based mental health care.

"We stand with the Australian Medical Association, which has called on our government to fully restore the Better Access funding and access to services," he said.

On February 1, 2012, a statement announced that people with a diagnosed mental health disorder could temporarily receive six appointments of psychological treatment if they could prove their case was exceptional in some regard.

"We believe that psychological services in Australia need to be expanded rather than cut. When someone has a mental health disorder and they reach out for help, they should be able to access the minimum recommended treatment, which is at least 15 appointments. Offering less than that puts lives at risk."

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