While material well-being and physical health have dramatically improved, the mental health of young people in transition from childhood to adulthood has been steadily declining, and this from a low base. One of our failures so far is not to have appreciated that the timing and pattern of mental ill-health impacts so strongly on young people who, on the threshold of adult life, have the most to lose. Editorial
Heads Up! First International Youth Mental Health Conference Wendy McCarthy AO and Chris Tanti
What's worrying young Australians and where do they go for advice and support? Policy and practice implications for their well-being Anne Hampshire and Kathryn Di Nicola
Navigating complex lives: a longitudinal, comparative perspective on young people's trajectories
Johanna Wyn and Lesley Andres
Transforming youth mental health services and supports in Ireland Robert J. Illback and Tony Bates
Forming and sustaining partnerships to provide integrated services for young people: an overview based on the headspace Geelong experience Tom Callaly, Kathryn von Treuer, Toni van Hamond and Kelly Windle
Early access and help seeking: practice implications and new initiatives Coralie J. Wilson, John A. Bushnell and Peter Caputi
Evaluating population-level interventions for young people's mental health: challenges and opportunities Michael Gifford Sawyer, Nina Borojevic and John Lynch
Young people at ultra high risk for psychosis: a research update Alison R. Yung and Barnaby Nelson
The use of e-health applications for anxiety and depression in young people : challenges and solutions Helen Christensen, Julia Reynolds and Kathleen M. Griffiths
The February 2011 issue of Early intervention in Psychiatry can also be accessed for free
Early articles to be published include :
* Doctors accessing mental health services : an exploratory study
* A randomised controlled trial of cognitive-behavioural therapy for menopausal hot flushes
* Non-operative treatment for acute appendicitis
.... several more
Experienced presenters from the mental health sector, headed by Dr Nicole Highet, Deputy CEO of beyondblue, will address topics such as perinatal mental health in rural and remote areas; mental health awareness and capacity building; and building resilience in the schools sector.
Professor of Health Economics, Deborah Schofield, from the NHMRC Clinical Trials Centre and Sydney School of Public Health, led a team of researchers from the University of Sydney and University of Canberra which investigated the cost of lost savings and wealth to Australians who retire early because of depression or other mental illness.
Project team leaders Professor Patrick Crookes and Roy Brown, their experiences with people at various levels of health services, as well as with the heads of nursing schools around Australia formed the impetus behind the project. At present there are 39 nursing programs in Australia, each using its own clinical assessment tool and this lack of parity creates the potential for different outcomes for newly registered nurses within and between programs.
The project aimed to address this issue by developing a new nationally agreed competency assessment tool for pre-registration nursing students, ensuring that the needs of both education and clinical service providers are met.
Australia's health system needs re-balancing: a report on the shortage of primary care services in rural and remote Australia
PDF and free printed copies are available. Copies are also available at Centrelink offices.
HWA is concentrating on developing policy and programs across four main areas : workforce planning, policy and research; clinical education; innovation and reform of the health workforce; and the recruitment and retention of international health professionals. The site includes information on grants and tenders, discussion papers and progress reports on work programs.
While the overall situation continues to improve, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples continue to have a lower life expectancy than other Australians, and are more likely to suffer high levels of psychological distress. Alcohol and smoking remain major health risk factors, although smoking rates have declined.
This publication has been re-issued, with significant updates in the Disability and Demographic, social and economic status sections
However, the psychological wellbeing of people with diabetes is not routinely assessed, and the psychological aspects of self-management are often unrecognised, leaving many with unmet needs.
The newly established Australian Centre for Behavioural Research in Diabetes is the result of a partnership for better health between Diabetes Australia, Victoria and Deakin Universit. The Centre provides a national focus and leadership for applied behavioural, psychological and social research in diabetes.
One of the Centre's primary activities in 2011 is the Diabetes-MILES study, a national survey of National Diabetes Services Scheme registrants about the psychosocial aspects of living with diabetes. The results will allow for a better understanding of the motivators, behaviours and psychological needs of Australians with diabetes. This survey is the largest of its kind ever undertaken in Australia.
The Centre's website also provides links to other ongoing diabetes research projects, and links to publications on the behavioural aspects of diabetes.
The site was developed by the Scholarly Communication Center, the Center of Alcohol Studies, and the Rutgers University Libraries. This is a useful cross-disciplinary collection of material on alcohol issues, although Australian coverage appears selective.
As the title of the report suggests, the focus is on reforming the way health is financed on a universal scale and identifies three main barriers to achieving universal coverage of equitable health care.
The first barrier relates to availability of health resources, including the use of new technologies for informing health initiatives, treatments and programs, and the provision of care across all areas of a country.
The second barrier concerns the out-of-pocket costs associated with accessing health care services. The immediate and direct cost to an individual may prevent them from seeking care in the first place, or cause financial hardship to those who do, particularly when a chronic condition is present requiring ongoing costs for consultations, medicines and transport.
The third barrier highlights the inefficient use of resources, which has resulted in 20-40% of health spending being wasted. Examples of this include using expensive drugs in place of cheaper, equally sufficient ones and the over-prescribing of certain medicines.
The report highlights three key ways in which countries can help raise more money for health, recognising the need for solidarity between governments and populations:
* Increase the efficiency of revenue collection - review and improve the way taxes are collected to increase the revenue spent on health. It also suggests positive, practical examples of how all countries should be tackling these inequities as well as highlighting those that are already achieving improved health outcomes for their populations.
* Reprioritise government budgets - ensure agreed health allocations are accurately and swiftly apportioned.
* Innovative financing - considering things like raising taxes on alcohol to lower consumption and generate revenue for health; introducing levies on currency transactions and bonds.
It also suggests positive, practical examples of how all countries should be tackling these inequities as well as highlighting those that are already achieving improved health outcomes for their populations.
Young Motherhood and Child Outcomes is a report by Bruce Bradley from the Social Policy Research Centre using data from the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children (LSAC. It shows that children aged 4-5 years whose mothers were under 25 when they were born have distinctly lower levels of functioning than those with older mothers and that this disadvantage carries through to education and labour market outcomes. Those born when their mother was in her teens are much less likely to be still in school from 16 to 18 years of age.
However, international research, supported by this study, suggests that children born to young mothers might still have had poor outcomes even if their mother had delayed their childbearing. "It is quite possible that such associations could arise because of the different characteristics of the mothers (and fathers) who have their children when young."
The Medicinewise Choices modules provide information and pointers to help people be actively involved in their treatment decisions. NPS clinical adviser, Dr Danielle Stowasser, says anyone starting a new medicine or who has been taking medicines for a while and wants to know about other options will benefit from the Medicinewise Choices series. A key component of Medicinewise Choices is how to find and assess reliable information sources, particularly online where advice may be driven by commercial interests, out-dated or not supported by evidence.
The work environment plays a critical role in ensuring both the supply of a health workforce and the enhancement, effectiveness and motivation of that workforce.
The purpose of providing attractive and supportive work environments is to create incentives for entering and remaining in the health professions, and to provide conditions that enable health workers to perform effectively(to achieve high-quality health services.
AOD-specific strategies should aim to prevent or minimise the uptake of harmful use; provide safe care for those who are intoxicated; provide treatment for those who are dependent; support those whose harmful AOD use has left them disabled or cognitively impaired; and support those whose lives are affected by harmful AOD use
* Close the gap in life expectancy between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians by 2031.
* Halve the gap in mortality rates for Indigenous children under five by 2018.
* Ensure access to early childhood education for all Indigenous four year olds in remote communities by 2013.
* Halve the gap in reading, writing and numeracy achievement for Indigenous children by 2018.
* Halve the gap in Year 12 or equivalent attainment rates for Indigenous young people by 2020.
* Halve the gap in employment outcomes between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians by 2018.
Progress is being made against the Closing the Gap targets. For example, significant improvements have been made in child mortality in recent years, although the gap still remains too large. These improvements are encouraging, but achieving tangible results in all areas will take ongoing investment and time.
This has profound implications for their health by engendering high levels of alcohol abuse, self-harm and violence. It has inter-generational consequences, bringing dysfunction to family life and providing a model of masculinity with little that is attractive or challenging. As a consequence, there is little incentive for boys to participate in schooling, training and work that prepares them for adult male roles. The cycle of male disenfranchisement, demoralisation and poor health is thus perpetuated.
The report can be downloaded by chapter only or as 2 volumes. Factsheets for each section are available.
The Standards were collaboratively developed under the auspices of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP) and are endorsed by the Association for the Wellbeing of Children in Healthcare, Children's Hospitals Australasia and the Australian College of Children and Young People's Nurses.
Associated RACP policies on topics such as breastfeeding, circumcision. hyperactivity, vitamin K and several others are also available.