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Advocacy during COVID-19

During the COVID-19 pandemic the College is continuing to advocate for psychiatrists and people affected by mental illness. The College has been providing advice and expertise to our governments about mental health care. This is done through a number of mediums including media releases, government submissions and participating in constructive dialogue with various government ministers and departments.

Letters and submissions

30 April Letter to Minister Ryan (QLD): COVID-19, Prisoners and Access to Treatment

29 April Letter to Minister Archer (TAS): COVID-19, Prisoners and Access to Treatment

29 April Letter to Minister Rattenbury (ACT): COVID-19, Prisoners and Access to Treatment

21 April Letter to Minister Carroll (VIC): Meeting on prisoner mental health care as COVID-19 crisis develops

7 April Letter to Minister Hazzard (NSW): Lifting of bulk-billing requirements for vulnerable people with a mental health condition

6 April Letter to Minister Carroll (VIC): Prisoner mental health care as COVID-19 crisis develops

19 March 2020 Letter to Minister Hunt: New COVID-19 Telehealth/Telephone MBS Items

6 March 2020 Letter to Minister Hunt: Telehealth mental health response to COVID-19 outbreak

Media releases

15 May National investment in data essential for targeted action on suicide

15 May Psychiatrists welcome Victorian government commitment to mental health

14 May Psychiatrists welcome extra mental health support

13 May RANZCP welcomes appointment of Australia’s first chief mental health officer

12 May Alcohol misuse and mental health do not mix

11 May Targeted action can prevent suicide increases

30 April Lessons from COVID-19 to future-proof the mental health system

28 April RANZCP renews call to prioritise health and safety for all inpatient facilities

27 April President of psychiatrists’ peak body says act now on mental health services

24 April 2020 Crisis breeds innovation: the NSW Branch of RANZCP applauds the NSW Government’s announcement 

18 April 2020 Greater access to telehealth consultations will benefit even more patients

15 April 2020 Protection needed for all healthcare professionals in all high risk settings

6 April 2020 Psychiatry by telehealth gets boost but more changes needed 

3 April 2020 RANZCP applauds deal to leverage private hospitals across Australia

30 March 2020 Psychiatrists need more changes to address COVID-19 challenges

27 March 2020 ECT is an essential treatment and can save lives during COVID-19

19 March 2020 COVID-19: Are we looking after the mental health of the most vulnerable?

17 March 2020 Taking care of your mental health and wellbeing during COVID-19

In the news

17 April 2020 Coronavirus revealing mental health gaps - Dr Vinay Lakra on

8 April 2020 Psychiatrist's thoughts on grief and isolation - Dr Michelle Atchison on

5 April 2020 How to stay sane when the world stops turning - President John Allan in the Sun Herald

2 April 2020 Medicare begins funding phone and video psychiatrist consults - President John Allan in Australian Doctor

1 April 2020 Podcast: Bushfires, floods and now this? - President John Allan on Medical Republic Podcast

25 March 2020 Helping patients cope with corona-anxiety - President John Allan with the Medical Republic

25 March 2020 COVID-19 looking after the most vulnerable - President John Allan on SBS NITV radio

24 March 2020 ABC Radio Sydney - Interview with Associate Professor John Allan on COVID-19 and telehealth

20 March 2020 ABC Radio Melbourne - Interview with Associate Professor John Allan on COVID-19 and anxiety


  • Council of President’s of Medical Colleges (CPMC) are meeting weekly.
  • RANZCP Board are meeting fortnightly.
  • The College met with National Mental Health Commission and other key stakeholders to discuss the Government’s mental health response to COVID-19 – 24 March, 31 March.
  • All Colleges Global Health meeting to discuss and update on the operational implications of COVID-19 and the impacts for Colleges and Pacific partners – 27 March.