ACA meet with the Department of Health and Aged Care

Last Thursday, ACA visited the Department of Health and Aged Care for a special ARCAP (Australian Register of Counsellors and Psychotherapists) meeting to discuss our recent submission to grant eligibility to Counsellors and Psychotherapists to provide Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) mental health services. Members can read the submission on the ACA website (or click here).

As part of the ARCAP delegation, we met with Mr Mark Roddam, First Assistant Secretary, Mental Health Division, Ms Anthea Raven, Assistant Secretary, Mental Health Access Branch, and Dr Ruth Vine, Deputy Chief Medical Officer.

We discussed a simple and effective proposal to improve access to affordable mental health care and how a cohort of highly skilled Counsellors and Psychotherapists stand underutilised. We also discussed in detail the extent of industry self-regulation necessary to ensure that MBS services are delivered safely and effectively, including: (1) the requirements that MBS Registered Counsellors and Psychotherapists would need to meet to be recognised as allied health professionals who are eligible to deliver MBS services and (2) the necessary regulatory oversight that the Australian Register of Counsellors and Psychotherapists would provide.

This is just one of many meetings we have planned with the Department of Health and Aged Care to discuss granting MBS eligibility to Counsellors and Psychotherapists. We are proud to advocate on behalf of the profession and we look forward to the next meeting to continue this important work with the Albanese government.


ARCAP is an independent, national Register of Counsellors and Psychotherapists established by the Australian Counselling Association and the Psychotherapy and Counselling Federation of Australia.

All practitioners listed on the ARCAP Register have:

  • Completed professional qualifications in counselling or psychotherapy
  • Meet ongoing professional development requirements including clinical supervision of their practice
  • Abide by the ethical guidelines of the profession