Lots has been going on again in the month of May. After the Town Hall meetings in early May, we met with Allied Health Professions Australia (AHPA) to ensure the changes we discussed around the constitution would ensure that DRTA as a professional body would become part of AHPA. There are two different levels of membership with AHPA – the first as an affiliate member and the second as a full member. As an association we will be joining as an affiliate to start off with and then moving to a full member.
A few other considerations came from the meeting. One was around the term ‘therapist’ and ensuring only those with a degree are using it. The other was a suggestion about using one name as opposed to two. The thought process was around strengthening the profession through the use of one title instead of multiple. Using various titles such Diversional Therapy, Recreation Therapy, Leisure and Lifestyle Coordinator, Wellness Officer etc. may dilute the understanding of our role by management, health professionals and the general public.
What do you think? What is in a name? Should we change the association name? If so, what name would you suggest in representing our profession as a whole. We have developed a short survey to get your feedback as a valued member of the association. The link to the survey is https://forms.gle/uh3vf5tvU5mdMUz66.
There are eight questions in all. We will also hold three more Town Hall meetings to discuss any concerns or issues you may have. These will be held on:
Tuesday 7 June 10am AEST. Register in advance for this meeting:
Thursday 9 June 7.30pm AEST. Register in advance for this meeting:
Tuesday 14 June 12pm AEST. Register in advance for this meeting:
In broader news, mental health is near the top of the agenda for policy makers both within jurisdictions and nationally. There is a recognition of the need to invest in mental health and to develop systems and services that are fit for purpose. This is rethinking both funding and service delivery mechanisms. The attention being directed at mental health has been influenced by many factors, including a Royal Commission in Victoria, a National Productivity Commission inquiry, the COVID-19 pandemic and increasing public awareness. More recently, a Queensland Mental Health Inquiry commenced and was set to report back to the House in May 2022 (which has not happened yet). In addition to this, the National Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Agreement has recently been released, with bilateral agreements occurring between states and the Commonwealth. Changes are happening on an ongoing basis both at state and national levels.