Published in The Canberra Times May 13 2022
Letter to the Editor - Melita Griffin, AccessEAP Director, Customer Relationships
Regional mental health
Melissa Meehan's article on the struggling mental health system in regional Australia ("Regional post-COVID mental health crisis", canberratimes.com.au, May 4) raises a troubling trend that is prevalent on a national scale. As demand for mental health support outstrips supply, companies are well-placed to support the system with early intervention.
The Australian Counselling Association reports waiting times of four to six weeks for a quarter of those living in rural and regional areas, but this is just the tip of a deep iceberg. As one of Australia's largest Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs), we've had countless reports of waiting times as long as nine months.
With more than two thirds of regional Australians experiencing depression and anxiety over the past two years, it's never been more important for mental health and wellbeing providers to work together to support those in need. No one should have to suffer in silence.