Australian Psychological Society (APS) Concern Over Australia’s Mental Health Sector

The latest Australian Healthcare Index figures which surveyed 11,000 Australians nationwide, found almost two-thirds of patients are waiting more than 12 weeks to receive care. A quarter of respondents have experienced declining mental health over the past 6 months. This increasing need for psychological assistance can be attributed to the pandemic, but equally with inflation continuing to soar, financial and emotional pressures are leaving the everyday Australian with insufficient support.

APS CEO Dr Burgess said, “The time for urgent action is now. The longer people go without care, the more we all pay for it down the track.

“The Federal Government is meeting only 35% of its workforce target for psychology, and 25% of the existing workforce is aged 55 years or older. This is the largest workforce shortfall of any mental health profession.

Dr Zena Burgess further explains, “Psychologists have been warning for a long time that the barriers to care are far too high, and the psychology workforce is simply not supported well enough to meet demand.

“Timely access to mental health care will ensure patients’ mental health will not deteriorate further and they get the help they need when they need it.

The survey also found that 1 in 3 (33%) psychologists were unable to take new clients, up from 1 in 5 (22%) in June 2021. Before the pandemic, only 1 in 100 psychologists were not taking new clients.

Read more here: Bleak new figures confirm depth of mental health crisis, www.psychology.org.au