nursing home residents deserve better access to mental health care
  • Our frailest older Australians deserve the best care on offer

    Over 170,000 older Australians living in residential aged care are ineligible to access mental health services when they need them. Why? Because they can not access Medicare-funded treatment available to the rest of the community through the Better Access to Mental Health Care program.

    While nursing home residents can access some mental health services through their aged care provider, this doesn’t happen anywhere near enough, and is not as well funded.

    University research has repeatedly found that fewer than two per cent of nursing home residents suffering depression have received clinically recommended treatment. And yet we know that aged care residents suffer some of the highest incidence of depression in the country.

    Introduced in 2006, the Better Access to Mental Health Care excluded aged care residents. If you are at home and receiving a high level Home Care Package you can access the program - but if you’re around the corner in residential care you cannot.

     Take action now

    Sign the petition and join the campaign to ensure the new Minister for Health, Greg Hunt, acts quickly to fix this historic anomaly and give nursing home residents the same access to mental health services as everyone else.

  • To the Hon Greg Hunt, Minister for Health

    We the undersigned urge you to immediately overturn the outdated discrimination that denies older Australians in residential aged care access to Medicare-funded psychological treatment through the Better Access to Mental Health Care program - treatment that is available to the rest of us as a right.

    Your government is commendably implementing bi-partisan reform that delivers greater choice and control to older people over their aged care. An historic anomaly denies them access to the Better Mental Health program.

    Reversing this out of date provision is a great way to make sure they have the same control over their mental health as all other Australians.

    Over 170,000 aged care residents are being denied the same rights as the rest of us because of out of date government sanctioned age discrimination.

    Please fix it now!

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