Petition Tag - health professions

1. Mental Health is a Global Urgent Issue

One Voice 4 Mental Health Awareness' is a global advocacy group to ensure human rights for adults and children with mental health challenges.

Mental health is an urgent global issue - as testified by worldwide reports at: http://www.globalmentalhealth.org/ and http://www.allafrica.com/stories/201008160014.html - that demands urgent global solutions.

The World Health Organization has a global action plan on mental health (http://www.who.int/features/qa/43/en/index.html) and we are calling upon the UN to prioritise this and ensure adequate treatment and human rights for all people with mental health challenges.

This petition to the UN will be formally presented to them when it reaches its set target of 100,000 signatures calling for action on this matter!

2. Reinstate allied health professions to Better Access to Mental Health

Occupational therapists and social workers will be excluded from accepting referrals under the Better Access to Mental Health scheme from 01/07/2010.

This decision has been taken as part of the Federal Governments establishment of the National Health and Hospitals Network, announced in the Budget presented on 11/05/2010. The government undertook no consultation with professionals or the community on this decision, and the rationale behind it is unclear.

The impact of this decision is far reaching. People with mental health problems will not be able to claim back any rebate when seeing OT's and Social Workers, placing these services beyond the financial reach of most. They will also have less access to services, and less choice in who they see. Therefore, people experiencing these issues will not get the help they need and will turn to public mental health services for which they are ineligible. The community as a whole will be required more and more to care for people who have not had access to quality and timely mental health interventions.

Besides these devastating consequences for the community, many OT's and SW who set up small businesses to provide these services will go out of business.