04 October 2022
The annual Mental Health Advocacy Day returned to Parliament House on 8 September, bringing together over 70 delegates representing 48 organisations across Australia.
Hosted by Mental Health Australia, the event provided the delegates the opportunity to meet with politicians—and each other—to promote the interests of the Australian mental health sector.
PACFA’s CEO Johanna de Wever took the opportunity to discuss the role of Counsellors and Psychotherapists and their part in responding to mental health demand, including the need for a Medicare number. Throughout the day, Ms de Wever took meetings with Ms Maria Vamvakinou MP, Member for Calwell; The Hon Michael Sukkar MP, Shadow Minister for Social Services; and Senator Matt O’Sullivan, Senator for Western Australia.
She also heard from Emma McBride (Assistant Minister for Mental Health), Melissa McIntosh (Shadow Assistant Minister for Mental Health and Suicide Prevention) and Jordon Steele-John (Senator for WA).
The event allowed Ms de Wever to press Members and Senators for the need for change, of course, but it also allowed her to build on the important relationships with service providers in the mental health sector, including Headspace, Mind Australia, Neami, Stride, Relationships Australia and researchers and consumer organisations. In addition, it ensured that Counsellors and Psychotherapists were heard alongside other members of the mental health workforce including Psychologists, General Practitioners, Psychiatrists, Occupational Therapists and Social Workers.
Since the event, follow-up meetings have been scheduled, which will create further opportunities PACFA and for our members.
Visit the Mental Health Australia YouTube channel to watch a brief video overview of the event.