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Friday, 24 August 2012

Building a mental health national day of action

By Darren Stones

On Wednesday 15 August 2012 at 7.42am I posted a new topic in the Alliance to Better Access group of which I'm an active member that was broadly designed to seek those with an interest in mental health psychological treatment to act to stop funding cuts to the Better Access initiative.

Here is my original post:

"CALL TO ACTION: The Better Access scheme cuts are due to be implemented on January 1, 2013. We need to increase the pressure on all politicians in Canberra and get the media covering what we are doing. We have the capacity to create an event in this group, and we can all have input into it. My thoughts are that we have a specific few days of action in the second half of September where we act to raise awareness. We can as individuals target all politicians in Canberra and media outlets. Folks, please contribute your thoughts. We need to act."!/groups/betteraccess/permalink/490690957625851/

As you can see, this is a clear call to action towards what was about 603 group members. At time of writing, the group has reached 671 members. I weighed up for a few days the pros and cons of commencing the "call to action" because I wondered if people would be interested in providing input and taking action.

The topic evolved and has subsequently led to the development of the National Day of Action - Change the Minds of Politicians event. The day for action is Monday 17 September 2012 and I envisage over 1000 people will register their interest at Facebook where the event was officially launched by Dr Ben Mullings, Psychologist, who is the group founder and an administrator. Currently 300 have registered since being launched at 12.00pm on Monday 20 August, 2012.

Ben Mullings and myself worked very closely together on the original draft copy that I produced for this event, after seeking and receiving terrific input from group members. Subsequent alterations to the draft copy between us has resulted in a clear call to action. Australians are now joining in quickly and sending the event information viral. Their message is clear - Stop the cuts to Better Access.

In devising action like this, it takes careful consideration and a large group of people to see it flourish. People sharing a similar interest and demanding reasonable treatment options is what this is about. Peoples wellbeing, self-esteem and their general state of health is at stake. This is a cause worth fighting for.

See my National Day of Action - Change the Minds of Politicians post here on my site to see how you can take part in this national day of action.

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