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  1. 1

    Ben Mullings

    This note of clarification speaks volumes!

    The simple point here is that Croakey invited us to write a piece on this issue, claiming that they had only heard from McGorry, but then when we submitted something Croakey pulled the plug.

    The Alliance for Better Access had been hearing from mental health consumers for quite a while about this, and the observation was frequently made that there had been quite a lot of one-sided reporting about this issue. Consumers and mental health practitioners who have experience in this area were quite surprised when you decided to retract the offer to publish their point of view. I have to say that personally, I found this quite disappointing too.

    As for the claim of the article being problematic, Melissa claims to have given feedback when in reality that did not occur. In any case, the version that appears on our website ( is essentially the same piece, with some rather minor edits. The article is much less about my own point of view and more about the sentiments we have been hearing from mental health consumers and concerned members of the public. So for Croakey to say that they have already heard from myself in the form of comments that I have posted in response to other articles, I’m afraid that doesn’t do anything for getting the perspective of consumers and the general public out there.

    The bottom line is that Croakey invited our group to give them an article to publish and then decided to go back on that deal when we followed through.

  2. 2

    Red Dahlia

    Hi Melissa … from this piece it would appear consumer advocates who ask for fairness in reporting don’t rate highly in your view, hence your dig at Mark Thompson. Like seriously … WTF? How can it be out of line to ask that all views be aired. Frankly, I find this piece beneath you. You would have done yourself and Croakey a better favour by not writing it. One consumer said to me not long ago: “it does seem sad to me that anyone interested in reporting about mental health care would tell you why you are wrong rather than listen to what it is you want and need. Discussion is healthy, but I find it really sad to hear that people are just shouting over the top of one another instead of listening. No wonder so many people like to see psychologists – they’re some of the few people in the world that truly know the value of listening.” Food for thought, I should think.

  3. 3

    Red Dahlia

    Footnote to my comment above: I hate that I didn’t say what I really wanted to because I feared further backlash for speaking up for Better Access. What I really wanted to do was post a link to a blog piece I wrote last night in response to this article so here it is now:

    Alison Fairleigh – consumer advocate and person with mental illness

  4. 4

    Ben Mullings

    Hello Melissa: Is there a reason why ALL of the detailed critical comments have been deleted from Dr Tim Woodruff’s opinion piece about this issue? (see

    If this is just a mistake, then I think it’s fair to say that everyone would appreciate being able to read what people actually said about this article. As it stands, the article reads in a rather one-sided way, particularly with the critical reactions having been removed.

  5. 5

    Ben Mullings

    CORRECTION: Turns out Crikey put out two articles: this ( without criticism, and this one ( #woops

    Maybe Crikey would consider linking people across from one article to the other, so that they can read the full range of comments that people made about what is the same issue being published from the same author one day apart? That would certainly help people see the range of views on this issue and avoid this sort of confusion.


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