AAPi's calls for Australians affected by natural disasters to be able to seek mental health support without the need for a GP referral features in a story on SBS News today. 

Executive Director Tegan Carrison said a recent Climate Council survey on the impacts of natural disasters showed it was clear there was demand for more mental health support.

AAPi believes self-referral would remove some of the barriers to accessing mental health support following a natural disaster, given the current demand for GP services across the country.

"Clients would not have to wait for a GP to be available, nor required to have a diagnosed mental health condition, to request psychological services after a natural disaster,” Ms Carrison said.

The article says that WA's Boab Health Services, servicing the Kimberley region of Western Australia, supports the notion, while the Australian Medical Association does not.

AAPi will raise the concept as part of the Mental Health Equity and Access Forum being held in Canberra today.

Natural Disaster Mental Health Support 

Posted on 30 January 2023