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Australia’s health minister recently said Medicare was on an unsustainable path and a user-pays system is inevitable. But what does sustainable health mean? The World Health Organization (WHO) describes  health as “physical, mental, and social well being. Of these elements, mental well-being historically has been misunderstood and often forgotten.” For  physical health, we rely on our GP’s and the enormous infrastructure that is our current health system ~ see “The Age” latest figures. For social help we have programs for unemployment, disability and hardship.

So what about our mental health?

So what about our mental health?

Depression and it’s silent cousin anxiety are now at record highs in our community,  and support services are few and far between. Limited mental health rebates apply and psychotherapists are exempt from the scant support these offer to their clients.

I wonder with the way our Health Minister is going if it about to get worse?


We seek help for a physical health scare, but not for a mental health scare, how come?

Perhaps we see physical illnesses as much quicker to treat, with less stigma involved. Most of us still view therapy as a last resort whether we get Medicare rebates for some sessions or not.

We wonder :

  1. will it be worth the time and money spent?
  2. maybe the therapist will tell us we are “crazy”
  3. or perhaps we will find we are incapable of change – a hopeless case.

These are normal concerns and yet they are unfounded. The studies that support the effectiveness of therapy reveal instead we are capable of significant change, and therapists can help you achieve greater peace of mind and substantial personal change.

“What I gained from therapy I would have paid ten times the amount for if I was able to. The benefits are so huge and on going that even now, 5 years after finishing therapy, I continue to realise the benefits with new life situations I am faced with.” Anonymous blogger comment. After psychotherapy blog.

I think it is a good thing for many of us to take greater responsibility for our own health. Don’t wait until a crisis hits, instead consider these reasons why user – pays benefits you.

Seven reasons why investment in therapy / counselling pays:

  1. Change your life habits, behaviours, and overwhelming feelings.
  2. Provide the fantastic experience of being truly attended to and understood
  3. Shift your suffering
  4. Resolve relationship struggles
  5. Provide deeper understanding of how your problems developed so you can make change
  6.  Stop repeating patterns that no longer work for you
  7. Help you become more productive at work and home.

Luckily psychotherapy is already mostly a user -pays system.  So psychotherapists are experienced at helping you  privilege your mental health by making a commitment to personal therapeutic work. We help you overcome the hurdles that make you want to avoid mental health issues.

I truly believe therapy is a sustainable investment in your mental health that can help you obtain more peace, stability and success for your future. But I’m a therapist, naturally this is my belief, so don’t take my word for it…give it a go.

I would be keen to hear your thoughts ~ What do you think? Do you agree Medicare is unsustainable? Will it be likely we move to a more user-pays system in the future? What do you see as the impact of this on our nation’s mental health?