- Launched 26/11/2019
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It is said that Austria has one of the best healthcare systems in the world. However, Austria has some catching up to do when it comes to the care of those with mental illness!
While the numbers of those affected by mental illness has been steadily increasing for years, Austria has major gaps in providing treatment. Months-long waiting periods are not uncommon, even for children and adolescents. Delaying the beginning of treatment for those affected can cause further suffering, as well as costing the health and social care systems hundreds of millions of Euros.
The next legislative period is about taking the right steps, together, to correct this development. The Berufsverband Österreichischer PsychologInnen (BÖP), working in cooperation with GkPP (Gesellschaft kritischer Psychologen und Psychologinnen, Berufsvertretung) and PKP (Pioniere der Klinischen Psychologie) are raising the following demands in this petition:
1. Sufficient treatment places for those with mental illness. We demand outpatient treatment places, with full services and without waiting times, while providing a high-quality level of care. Central to this approach would be the establishment and expansion of socially insured treatment slots for psychologists, psychiatrists, and psychotherapists.
2. Short-term: Treatment provided by clinical psychologists should be covered by medical insurance. Treatment from clinical psychologists is efficient, which has been shown by scientific studies. While treatment from a clinical psychologist in the inpatient setting (i.e. hospitals) has long been established and legally controlled since 1993, there is still no option of clinical psychological treatment covered by insurance, even though this option would quickly and qualitatively close the massive supply gap, including in rural areas. The inclusion of clinical psychological treatment as medically insured in the Allgemeine Sozialversicherungsgesetz (ASVG) would cover the most urgent and acute need to help those struggling with mental illness.
3. Long-term: “Masterplan: mentally healthy Austria” with all psychology professions. Whether psychiatrists, psychotherapists, or clinical psychologists, every profession works to contribute to the improvement of mental health care in Austria. It is clear that these improvements can only happen with the long-term involvement and co-operation of all psychology professions and policy makers. We therefore propose to work together to develop “Masterplan: mentally healthy Austria.”
Sustained improvement of mental health care means that those affected in Austria receive timely, professional care and that the suffering of the affected and those close to them will be alleviated. In addition, the social, health, and economic systems will be significantly relieved in the medium- and long-term. Therein also lies large cost-saving opportunities.
Now is the time to act!
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