I understand that for many people, mental health problems are not something they have to regularly think about. They’re the lucky ones. I also understand that for many with mental health issues, it’s an acute episode, it gets dealt with, it’s resolved, life moves on and they go with it. Then there are those people who have chronic mental health issues.
People who have schizophrenia don’t get better. It doesn’t go away. People with chronic depression don’t wake up one morning and find that all is right with their world and have it stay that way. People with eating disorders don’t jump out of bed and go hey, you know what? I’m CURED! Chronic means long term, ongoing , daily grind that gets under your skin, under your nails, takes over your life and your family’s lives.
On one hand, Australia has a better health system than the US. On the other hand? If your income is at a certain level, you qualify for a ‘package’ which equates to 6 visits to the chosen specialist. If it’s deemed necessary, you get an additional 4. So a whole 10 visits will be part subsidised by medicare- part subsidised, not wholly. Once you’ve had those 10, that’s it. You’d better be cured because you won’t get any more subsidised visits until the next calendar year. Fantastic.
So…. you have a chronic mental health condition that has gone through acute stages and you’ve used up all 10 visits and it’s June . You’re screwed. Unless of course you have the money to pay for private visits. Oh hang on, the only reason you qualified for the package was because your income was low. So whilst you could have private visits, you can’t because you can’t afford them.
I guess that means you have to be cured.
Why is there nothing for people with chronic mental health disorders? You don’t only get 10 visits to the GP. (Maybe I shouldn’t say that out loud, the government might decide it’s a good idea. )
Once again proving that even though it’s the 21 century, mental health is still in the 19th.