Primary Care Counselling
PACFA is campaigning for recognition of Counsellors and Psychotherapists as providers of Primary Care Counselling services.
Through ARCAP (Australian Register of Counsellors and Psychotherapists) PACFA has established a collaboration with the Australian Counselling Association (ACA). Together, we are lobbying government, the opposition and the cross-benchers with a proposal for changes to be made to the Better Access Initiative, which is currently the main program that delivers Primary Care Counselling services to the community.
Registrants and members of PACFA Member Associations are encouraged to get involved in lobbying your Members of Parliament and Senators for the campaign.
PACFA lobbying 2013 - What can you do?
1. Search for Psychotherapy and Counselling Federation of Australia on Facebook and “Like” the campaign entry on PACFA’s Facebook page.
2. Make a post on your own Facebook page with a link to this campaign page: www.pacfa.org.au/events/primary_care_counselling_campaign
3. Write to your federal Member of Parliament and/or your Senator. Their contact details can be found at this link. Suggested points you can cover in your letter are detailed below.
4. Request and appointment with your federal Member of Parliament and/or your Senator. Use the lobbying materials prepared for members, which are available for download below.
Download the lobbying materials for members here.
Suggested point for letters to Parliamentarians:
- There is a large body of evidence that counselling and psychotherapy are effective.
- Counselling and psychotherapy are interdisciplinary activities provided by a range of professionals including psychologists and social workers as well as counsellors and psychotherapists. Counselling and psychotherapy are not ‘owned’ by any one of these professional groups.
- There are no valid reasons for government-funded counselling services to be limited to psychologists, social workers and occupational therapists.
- The Better Access Initiative is an unsustainable program that is not meeting consumer needs.
- Counsellors and psychotherapists have been excluded from being providers for the Better Access Initiative but counsellors and psychotherapists are part of the solution to Australia’s mental health needs.
- Primary Care Counselling should provide accessible and affordable mental health services for high prevalence disorders such as depression and anxiety. ARCAP counsellors and psychotherapists are qualified to provide these services.
- We have a different training route from psychologists and social workers. We are trained to degree or post-graduate level. Our training focuses on the theory and practice of counselling and psychotherapy.
- ARCAP representatives are available to meet with parliamentarians. They can provide information about ARCAP proposals to improve the Better Access Initiative that will:
- Save approximately $100,000,000
- Deliver an extra 411,868 counselling sessions
- Provide more accessible and affordable services
- Improve outcomes for consumers