Psychologists Concerned at Growing Income Inequality

logoapsShrinks are involved at rising rates of income inequality leading to wellbeing and poorer mental health among disadvantaged Australians.

The Australian Psychological Society (APS), the top professional organisation for shrinks with more than 21,000 members, anxieties many measures summarized in this year’s federal budget threat widening rather than reducing other inequalities and income.

In its recent entry to the Federal Government’s inquest into income inequality in Australia, the APS says the growing disparity will affect on vulnerable groups, including young individuals to older Australians, women, the unemployed, single parents, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, migrants and refugees.

The organisation has expressed worries at budget measures consisting of reductions to education funding, planned welfare changes, moves to link the age pension to CPI rather than changes in wages, the debut of the GP copayment, as well as the $165 million reduction to the Native health budget.

In the organisation’s entry, coauthor Heather Gridley states disadvantage which influences on people’s mental health, physical health and wellbeing is exacerbated by inequality.

“These groups happen to be exposed to living in poverty, also to emotional distress related to one of these material living conditions,” the entry states.

“Growing inequality threats further marginalising the groups by making it harder to reach health, home and employment, in addition to growing blot and falling equality of chance more usually.

“The APS is concerned so, about the way the recent federal budget measures might promote growing inequality and sabotage a few of the consequences related to more promising initiatives.”

The entry states Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander individuals experience “alarming differences in well-being”, including a 10 to 17-year difference in life expectancy and therefore are also two times as likely to report higher degrees of mental distress when compared with non-Indigenous Australians.

The APS needs communities and deprived groups to get improved accessibility to resources and health services.

It is urged the government foster community wellbeing and contain as a directing principle the duty of government to offer a safety net for all those exposed, in a play to reduce poverty, while empowering all Australians the right to income support and monetary security.

“Growing income inequality and its related impacts is among the very important problems facing Australia,” it states