Facts at your Fingertips: Health, 2011

The average Australian is a little heavier and taller than a decade ago, according to health reports released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) in Facts at your Fingertips: Health, 2011.

Amongst subjects covered in this release are : Characteristics of Bodily Pain in Australia, Measuring Australians, Tobacco Smoking in Australia, 2007-08, Smoking and Risk Factors in Australia, 2007-08 and the Mental Health of Young People

Media release

Suicide, Australia, 2001-2010.

The suicide rate in Australia has decreased by 17% over the past decade, from 12.7 to 10.5 deaths per 100,000 people, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) Report, Suicide, Australia, 2001-2010.

Suicide remains the leading cause of death among Australians between 15 and 34 years of age. Suicide rates for males in this age group have decreased over the past 10 years, with decreases of 34% for 15-24 year olds, and 46% for 25-34 year olds, while for other age groups the suicide rate has remained more stable. There has been little change in the suicide rate for females across all age groups over the past decade. Males account for approximately 3 in 4 suicide deaths.

New South Wales was found to have the lowest suicide rate at 8.6 deaths per 100,000 people for the period 2006-2010, while suicide rates were highest in the Northern Territory at 20.2 deaths per 100,000 people for the same period. Rural areas were found to have a higher suicide rate than capital city statistical divisions.

Suicide rates for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are approximately twice those of non-Indigenous Australians. Rates are particularly high amongst younger (15-34 year old) Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. The age-specific suicide rate for 25-29 year old Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander males was 90.8 deaths per 100,000 people for the combined 10 year period.

Media Release

ABS accused of putting a spin on suicide rates

The Australian Bureau of Statistics has been accused of dishonesty and spin in its reporting of national suicide rates, with leading mental health experts saying it has obscured a rise in deaths. The ABS yesterday hailed a 17% fall in suicides over the past decade, from 12.7 deaths per 100,000 people in 2001 to 10.5 in 2010.

The Executive Director of the Brain and Mind Research Institute at the University of Sydney, Ian Hickie, said the data was being misrepresented as 2001 had a high number of suicides, creating the appearance of a fall. He said the data showed the suicide rate in the latter part of the decade had been steady, or even increased. ''The analysis is entirely unhelpful,'' he said.

myCompass : new online tool monitors mental health symptoms

Minister for Mental Health Mark Butler has launched a new online mental health tool designed to support people living with a mental health issue such as anxiety or depression. Developed by a team of health professionals at the Black Dog Institute, and funded by the Australian Government, myCompass is an online tool that assesses user symptoms, then provides a personalised support program.

The interactive program includes online psychological tools, round-the-clock monitoring of moods and behaviours and motivational tips via email and SMS. The tool is part of the Government's recently launched e-mental health strategy.

myCompass developer A/Prof Judy Proudfoot said the tool was evidence-based and complimented traditional health services. "myCompass has been designed to support people that may not seek help because of lack of time, lack of access to face-to-face, services or a fear of stigma," said A/Prof Proudfoot. "It provides a suite of simple strategies that will educate people to self-monitor and self-manage unhelpful thoughts and behaviour. It's easy to access and simple to understand so you can improve your long-term mental health while you're waiting for the bus or having lunch. Most importantly of all, clinical evidence shows that it works."

Media Release

Study finds many rural workers 'risky drinkers'

A Charles Sturt University (CSU) led study has found many farm and fishing workers are heavy alcohol drinkers but are unaware of the potential health impacts. The research involved surveys and in-depth interviews with more than 150 workers from seven regional centres in Victoria, Western Australia and NSW.

Study participants worked in the grain, cotton, mixed farming, sugar and fishing industries. Interviews were conducted with casual, seasonal and mobile workers along with family members and employers.

The research team included Adjunct Research Fellow at the CSU Centre for Inland Health, Dr Julaine Allan and Professor Patrick Ball from CSU’s School of Biomedical Sciences, along with researchers from Monash University and the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre at the University of NSW.

Dr Allan said 43% of those taking part in the study were identified as risky drinkers, who consumed large amounts of alcohol frequently.

Online depression fix has big impact (ANU research)

Online depression therapy programs can have a positive impact on more than just depressive symptoms, a new study from The Australian National University reveals.

Dr Lou Farrer, from the ANU Centre for Mental Health Research, part of the ANU College of Medicine, Biology and Environment, trialled the effectiveness of online programs MoodGYM and BluePages with users of Lifeline’s telephone crisis line. She found that the online programs had a positive influence across a range of problems – not just depression.


Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) conducting largest survey of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has commenced the largest Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health survey to improve knowledge of the health issues affecting Indigenous Australians. This survey will expand on the 2004-05 survey by increasing the number of participants by 30%, and collecting new information on exercise, diet (including bush foods), and measures of cholesterol, blood glucose and iron.

For the first time, the ABS will directly measure obesity and blood pressure levels, as well as nutritional status and chronic disease. By combining self-reported information together with biomedical samples, a more complete picture of the health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples will be available. Importantly this will provide some information about the level of undiagnosed conditions, such as diabetes.

While the biomedical component of the survey is voluntary, ABS survey champion, Cathy Freeman, encourages people to get involved as, 'You will be helping your family, your community, and future generations to live longer, healthier lives'.

Marijuana use doubles risk of premature birth

A large international study led by University of Adelaide researchers has found that women who use marijuana can more than double the risk of giving birth to a baby prematurely. Preterm or premature birth can result in serious and life-threatening health problems for the baby, and an increased risk of health problems in later life, such as heart disease and diabetes.

"Our study has found that the risk factors for both forms of preterm birth vary greatly, with a wide variety of health conditions and histories impacting on preterm birth," says Professor Gus Dekker, who is the lead author of the study. "Better understanding the risk factors involved in preterm birth moves us another step forward in potentially developing a test - genetic or otherwise - that will help us to predict with greater accuracy the risk of preterm birth. Our ultimate aim is to safeguard the lives of babies and their health in the longer term," he said

Other risk factors identified in the study included having a mother with diabetes and/or a history of preeclampsia, a family history of low birth weight babies, short stature, participant's not being the first born in the family, longer time to conceive, mild hypertension, family history of recurrent gestational diabetes, and maternal family history of any miscarriage.

Press release : Marijuana use doubles risk of premature birth

Dialysis and kidney transplantation in Australia: 1991-2010 (AIHW)

The number of Australians treated with dialysis or kidney transplantation for their end-stage kidney disease (ESKD) almost tripled between 1991 and 2009, according to a report by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare.

The report, Dialysis and kidney transplantation in Australia: 1991-2010, states that the reasons for the increase in cases of treated ESKD are complex, and an increase in diabetes-related cases of ESKD is likely to play a large part. The report largely draws on data from the Australian and New Zealand Dialysis and Transplant (ANZDATA) registry.

End-stage kidney disease is a serious and costly health problem in Australia that usually requires kidney replacement therapy (dialysis or kidney transplantation) for patients to survive. At the end of 2009 there were more than 18,000 people receiving kidney replacement therapy. The majority received dialysis treatment, which accounted for more than 1.1 million hospitalisations in the 2009-10 financial year. During 2009 more than 2,300 patients started kidney replacement therapy and 772 kidney transplant operations were performed.

Media release

NSW Pain Management Plan 2012-2016

The Minister for Health, Gillian Skinner has revealed the NSW Government $26M response to the Pain Management Taskforce Report.

The NSW Pain Management Plan 2012-2016 is the NSW Government response to the recommendations of the Pain Management Taskforce commissioned by the NSW Minister of Health and Minister for Medical Research to propose strategies for the development and support a state-wide system of pain management services. The Plan provides the strategic direction for current and future service delivery of pain management services across NSW and details the investment of an additional $26M in pain management services, research and education over the next 4 years.

The NSW Pain Management Taskforce Report outlines the Taskforce's recommendations to develop and support a state-wide system of pain management services by focussing on integrating multidisciplinary care across primary, secondary and tertiary services; education, training and workforce development for health professionals in all disciplines; research and evaluation; community-wide strategies to reduce the stigma of chronic pain; and better access to early intervention. The Report will help drive a cohesive, consistent, state-wide approach to pain management and identifies areas for potential future development.

An overhaul for a pain management in NSW - Ministerial Press release

Pain management gets shot in arm in NSW (ABC)

Australian social trends, June 2012

Australian Social Trends aims to inform decision-making, research and discussion on social conditions in Australia. It covers social issues of current and ongoing concern, population groups of interest, and changes in these over time.

The latest issue (June, 2012) includes feature articles on

* Sexually transmissible infections
* Our health risks : how does Australia compare?
* Children with a disability

All articles published since 1994 are available from the Australian Social Trends page of the ABS web site. Australian Social Trends is structured according to the ABS Wellbeing Framework which identifies areas of social concern, population groups and transactions among people and entities within their social environments. The broad areas of social concern are:

* Population
* Family and community
* Health
* Education and training
* Work
* Economic resources
* Housing
* Crime and justice
* Culture and leisure
* Other areas - including environment, religion, and transport and communication.

Australian Social Trends is now issued on a quarterly basis, and in the course of a year the articles will cover a wide range of the areas of social concern.

Healthcare 2010-11: Comparing performance across Australia

Healthcare 2010-11: Comparing performance across Australia is the third report from the COAG Reform Council assessing progress under their National Healthcare Agreement. One of the key findings is that while there has been progress in improving hospital care, it is not consistent across Australia. For example, elective surgery waiting times have improved in a number of areas, but some of the states with larger populations are lagging. The report also finds that health outcomes are still not equal for all Australians, with more people delaying seeing a GP due to cost, and a quarter of people reporting financial barriers to seeing a dentist.

Australia's food & nutrition (AIHW)

Australia's food & nutrition 2012 highlights the key components of the food and nutrition system. It describes the system from 'paddock to plate' and how food choices affect our health and the environment.

Did you know ? :
* Australia produces enough food to feed 60 million people.
* More than 9 in 10 people aged 16 and over do not consume sufficient serves of vegetables.
* One in 4 children have an unhealthy body weight and 6 in 10 adults are overweight or obese.
* Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, rural and remote Australians and socioeconomically disadvantaged people are more at risk of diet-related chronic disease than other Australians.

Media release

Summary report

The National Health Performance Authority Strategic Plan 2012-15: Public Consultation

The National Health Performance Authority is a recently established agency under the National Health Reform Act 2011. It has released its draft Strategic Plan for consultation, so that Australians can have their say on the proposed mission, values and objectives of the Performance Authority.

The Performance Authority's draft Strategic Plan 2012-15 outlines the proposed strategic direction the organisation will take in performing its duties of providing independent monitoring and performance reporting of health care organisations.

The role of the Performance Authority is to develop high quality, locally relevant and nationally consistent reports on the performance of local hospital networks, public hospitals, private hospitals and primary health care organisations. This transparent public reporting across a range of performance indicators will stimulate and inform improvements in the Australian health system, increase transparency and accountability and inform consumers.

Submissions close on 8 August 2012.

Western NSW towns face uncertain climate change future

By Richard Gifford on Flickr
The tourism blurb says White Cliffs, an opal mining town in the far west corner of NSW, has a "last-frontier kind of appeal". However, a new report for the federal government says White Cliffs is the most vulnerable town in Australia to the impact of climate change.

By 2050, Dubbo may be the western frontier as local economies in the hottest parts of the state succumb to the changing weather.

The report, Australia's Country Towns 2050: What Will A Climate Adapted Settlement Pattern Look Like? by the Centre for Housing, Urban and Regional Planning, University of Adelaide and the National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility assigns vulnerability ratings to country towns with populations of at least 200 at least 50 kilometres from the coast, taking into account their exposure, sensitivity to climate change as indicated by their weather and their industry base, as well as their capacity to adapt based on education levels and internet access. Towns with the largest predicted rainfall and temperature changes, and high dependence on agriculture, were rated more vulnerable. Remoteness and low education levels counted against them, as did low population and low connectedness to the internet.

Western NSW does worryingly poorly in the report, with the 4 most vulnerable towns in NSW being White Cliffs, Tottenham, Ivanhoe & Wilcannia. White Cliffs and Tottenham also rate as the most vulnerable in Australia (and all 4 are in the top 8 most vulnerable towns in Australia). Also amongst the 20 most vulnerable towns in NSW are Lake Cargelligo(8),
Tullamore(9), Goodooga(16), Brewarrina (19) and Gulargambone(20).

Rural towns face the final frontier (Daily Liberal - Dubbo)

White Cliffs on the brink (The Land)

A gentle introduction to Twitter for the apprehensive academic

A gentle introduction to Twitter for the apprehensive academic is a plain language explanation of why professionals and academics should use Twitter, and how to do it. If you're allowing inaccurate stereotypes to deter you, you're missing out.

The Mental Health Professionals Network

The Mental Health Professionals Network (MHPN) establishes and supports interdisciplinary mental health networks and collaborative practice across Australia.

Network members meet regularly to participate in education, clinical review, peer support, community development, collaboration and networking opportunities. Each network is coordinated by a network member with support from MHPN project officers.

Network members include: general practitioners, psychiatrists, psychologists, mental health nurses, occupational therapists, social workers, allied health professionals and community workers involved in primary mental healthcare.

MHPN provides a range of online learning and networking opportunities for people working in primary mental health care. This includes a series of regular, free webinars with panels of expert presenters participating in a facilitated case study discussion. The objective of the webinars is to demonstrate and encourage a collaborative approach to the assessment, diagnosis, treatment and support of patients with mental health issues. Recent webinar topics include cyber bullying, eating disorders, perinatal mental health and autism

A not-for-profit organisation, MHPN is funded by the Commonwealth Government Department of Health and Ageing until June 2014.

Battle on to stop regional suicides (Dubbo)

Dubbo is one of 10 communities being asked by the NSW government to help find ways of preventing the loss of loved ones and mates to suicide.

Forums on the coast and inland reflect Australian Institute of Health and Welfare advice that rates of suicide in regional and remote areas are 1.2 to 2.4 times higher than in major cities.


Focus on healthy hearts as our diabetic rates rise

New research launched today by Australian Diabetes Council to mark Diabetes Awareness Week maps a direct correlation between the prevalence of diabetes and heart disease across the state. Diabetes is Australia's fastest growing chronic disease with one person diagnosed every five minutes. Diabetes is set to almost double by 2016.

Australian Diabetes Council's research, based on the latest population health surveys and newly released census data, shows areas with higher rates of diabetes are also areas with some of the highest rates of cardiovascular disease.

All of the top 10 areas where diabetes and cardiovascular disease rates are highest are in regional Australia, with the biggest impact of the disease also hitting lower socio-economic areas in both city and regional areas.

Broken Hill tops the list with the highest rate of diabetes and heart disease, 10.09 people per 100 head of population suffer from diabetes and 12.8 people per 100 head of population have been hospitalised with heart disease. Broken Hill is followed by Brewarrina at 9.22%. The areas of Bourke, Coonamble and Walgett also rated in the top 10 areas of NSW with the highest rates of diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

The Australian Diabetes Council is launching a new diabetes and heart health booklet, Diabetes and a Healthy Heart in Diabetes Awareness Week.

Diabetes Taking a Toll on Australian Hearts (Australian Diabetes Council)

Diabetes on the rise in regional areas (Daily Liberal Dubbo)

Focus on healthy hearts as our diabetic rates rise (Daily Liberal Dubbo)

National Safety and Quality Health Service Standards

The Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care developed the National Safety and Quality Health Service (NSQHS) Standards to drive the implementation and use of safety and quality systems and improve the quality of health service provision in Australia. The Standards also provide a nationally consistent statement of the level of care consumers should be able to expect from health services.

There are 10 NSQHS Standards focusing on areas that are essential to improving patient safety and quality of care:

1. Governance for Safety and Quality in Health Service Organisations
2. Partnering with Consumers
3. Preventing and Controlling Healthcare Associated Infections
4. Medication Safety
5. Patient Identification and Procedure Matching
6. Clinical Handover
7. Blood and Blood Products
8. Preventing and Managing Pressure Injuries
9. Recognising and Responding to Clinical Deterioration in Acute Health Care
10. Preventing Falls and Harm from Falls

The NSQHS Standards were selected because they address areas where:

The impact is on a large number of patients
There is a known gap between the current situation and best practice outcomes, and
Improvement strategies exist that are evidence based and achievable.

MindHealthConnect : Government launches national e-mental health portal.

Australia's first national e-mental health online portal has been launched by Minister for Mental Health Mark Butler. The new portal, mindhealthconnect, is designed to provide a trustworthy source of information, support and a gateway to therapy for people seeking help for mental health disorders.

Resources available include online therapy programs, fact sheets, community links, audio and video resources, an online library and a directory of services.

Launch press release

The E-mental health strategy for Australia

The E-mental health strategy for Australia has been launched by Minister for Mental Health Mark Butler. The strategy sets out a long term vision for developing an accessible, high quality and integrated e-mental health care system.

The Australian Government, through this Strategy, is moving from funding a small number of proven and successful online mental health and telephone crisis support services, to a respected, evidence based, accessible, professionally recognised and integrated e-mental health service environment.

Research in Australia and internationally shows that outcomes for those who participate in online therapies are broadly comparable to those of face to face services using similar treatment techniques. E-mental health services are accessible, allowing people to access these services at a time and place that is convenient to them, and offer an effective alternative to conventional treatments for people who live in areas with limited services, have difficulty with transport or are reluctant to engage with face to face services.

Guidelines for a Palliative Approach for Aged Care in the Community Setting

The target audience for the Guidelines for a Palliative Approach for Aged Care in the Community Setting include health workers providing palliative care to older people in community settings, such as community aged care nurses, care workers and general practitioners.

JustHealth Consultants (JHC) are developing a palliative care education and training package following the release of the Guidelines.

Four documents have been developed as part of the Guidelines package, including:

* Guidelines for a Palliative Approach for Aged Care in the Community Setting);
* Guidelines for a Palliative Approach for Aged Care in the Community Setting Volume 2 - Processes Underpinning Best Practice Recommendations; and Appendix D
* A supporting booklet for care workers; and
* A supporting booklet for older people receiving care, their families and friends.

The Guidelines for a Palliative Approach for Aged Care in the Community Setting were developed as a companion document to the Guidelines for a Palliative Approach in Residential Aged Care.

Why the new way of funding public hospitals won't work (from The Conversation)

July 1 2012 saw the introduction of one of the most important health care reforms for Australia's public hospitals: national activity-based funding (ABF). Hospitals will now be paid a fixed price (the national efficient price) for each episode of care, meaning ABF is essentially a fee-for-service payment model. Treasuries and governments hope ABF will make hospitals more efficient.But key flaws in the design of the scheme may hamper these potential cost savings and result in an ineffective funding system.

Jehovah's Witnesses recover better from heart surgery

This study, published in Archives of Internal Medicine, found that because Jehovah's Witnesses cannot have blood transfusions, and prepare for surgery with blood conservation techniques, they recover quicker, have fewer complications and have a better 1-year survival rate. The study provides food for thought and a worthwhile area for future research.

Podcast from "The World Today' (ABC Radio National)

Original Reference :
Outcome of Patients Who Refuse Transfusion After Cardiac Surgery : A Natural Experiment With Severe Blood Conservation
Gregory Pattakos, et al. Archives of Internal medicine 10.1001/archinternmed.2012.2449 Published ahead of print
Available via CIAP

Perinatal depression (AIHW)

Perinatal depression: data from the 2010 Australian National Infant Feeding Survey showed that 1 in 10 mothers of children aged 24 months or less had been diagnosed with depression during the perinatal period. Perinatal depression was more commonly reported among mothers who were younger (aged under 25), smokers, overweight/obese and from lower income households.

The report indicates that mothers living in inner and outer regional centres such as Dubbo, Wellington and Narromine could be at a higher risk of developing perinatal depression than mothers living in major cities or more remote areas.

"High perinatal depression risk in regional centres" - Daily Liberal Dubbo

AIHW media release

Caring for people with a mental illness

Carers of people with a mental illness are the focus of a new research project by a psychology student at Charles Sturt University (CSU). Bachelor of Social Science (Psychology) Honours student Mr Gerald Haslinger is seeking participants in a confidential survey which aims to find out more about the experience of unpaid carers and mental health service providers in caring for someone with a mental illness.

“I am interested in hearing from unpaid carers and service providers, and what they understand about the Recovery approach to caring for someone living with a mental illness, an approach that is widely accepted within the mental health sector.  My study seeks to find out the level of awareness of this approach amongst mental health service providers as well as unpaid carers.”


Global Health 2012

The inaugural edition of Global Health (published to coincide with the 65th World Health Assembly (WHA) in Geneva, Switzerland, from 21-26 May) explores how organisations responsible for improving health and well-being worldwide can address the many challenges they face. The publication includes articles from leading global health institutions.

Topics include the national and international efforts in the ongoing fight against the major infectious diseases of HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria and polio, as well as strategies to tackle non-communicable diseases such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes and chronic respiratory disease.

The mental health of prison entrants (AIHW)

The mental health of prison entrants in Australia: 2010 reports on the mental health of prison entrants, based on data from the 2010 National Prisoner Health Census. In 2010:

* Nearly one third of prison entrants reported that they had mental health issues (a rate 2.5 times higher than the general population)
* 16% of prison entrants took medication for mental health issues
* 3 in 4 prison entrants who were taking mental health medication also used illicit drugs during the previous 12 months

Media release

Surgery in Australian hospitals 2010-11 (AIHW)

Surgery in Australian hospitals 2010-11 provides an overview of Australia's 2.4 million annual hospitalisations for surgery. In 2010-11, around 1.0 million surgery hospitalisations occurred in public hospitals and 1.4 million in private hospitals.

Around 12% of surgery admissions were emergency admissions (requiring surgery within 24 hours). About 83% were elective admissions, with two-thirds of these occurring in private hospitals. A further 4% of surgery-related admissions were childbirth-related and 1% were for "other planned care".

Compared with national rates, Indigenous Australians and people living in remote areas had higher rates of emergency surgery admissions and lower rates of elective surgery admissions.

Media release

Health Workforce Insights (New newsletter)

Health Workforce Australia has released the first issue of its new newsletter "Health Workforce Insights". Essential reading for anyone working on health workforce issues or interested in health reform.

Subscription is free.

National Quality Dementia Care Initiative funds 6 new research programs

Ita Buttrose, National President of Alzheimer's Australia,has announced 6 innovative research projects that turn existing dementia research into quality dementia care. The projects, funded by The National Quality Dementia Care Initiative, ensure important research findings are influencing mainstream healthcare and medical practices now, rather than taking the average 17 years to make a difference.

"The Initiative is a key step in building evidence-based dementia care services and raising awareness of the disease," Ms Buttrose said. "People with dementia and family carers have chosen research projects they feel will make the biggest difference to the quality of life of the 280,000 Australians living with dementia and their 1.2 million carers".

The Initiative was established by Alzheimer's Australia with a $2.2 million grant from the J.O & J.R Wicking Trust, and $810,000 from Bupa Care Services. The Consumer Dementia Research Network (the Network), made up of 4 people with dementia and 21 family carers from around Australia, drive the Initiative's priority areas for the projects.

Since 2011, the program has awarded over $2 million to 8 projects, including; improving assessment and diagnosis of dementia; better support for carers; increasing access to advance care plans; and, improving palliative care services to help people with dementia to die with dignity.

The 6 latest programs to be funded are :

1. Person-centred dementia support in the community, Dr David Sykes (Alzheimer's Australia Vic) & Dr Chris Hatherly (Alzheimer's Australia National Office)
2. Integrated care framework for advanced dementia, A/Prof Meera Agar Hammond Care (collaborating with Alzheimer's Australia NSW)
3. Advance care planning for people with dementia, Dr Chris Shanley, Liverpool Hospital, NSW (collaborating with Alzheimer's Australia NSW)
4. Heart Foundation Walking for the Mind, Michelle Wilson, Heart Foundation (collaborating with Alzheimer's Australia SA)
5. Development of an evidence-based on-line resource package to improve staff-family relationships for people with dementia living in residential aged care, Dr Michael Bauer, Australian Centre for Evidence Based Aged Care (collaborating with Alzheimer's Australia Vic, Alzheimer's Australia Qld & Alzheimer's Australia Tas)
6. Improving outcomes for a timely diagnosis and management of dementia in General Practice, Dr Allan Shell, Dementia Collaborative Research Centre - Assessment and Better Care (collaborating with Alzheimer's Australia NSW)

Study finds high rate of mental illness among Indigenous prisoners

A new study of Indigenous people in Queensland prisons has found around three-quarters have at least one mental illness.

The report published in the Medical Journal of Australia found that 73 per cent of Indigenous men and 86 per cent of Indigenous women in prison had a mental disorder.

Dr Edward Heffernan is the director of Queensland’s Forensic Mental Health Service and lead author of the report.


Online Learning Program in Eating disorders

The Centre for Eating and Dieting Disorders (CEDD) has developed an online program in conjunction with NSW Health, to train health professionals in the management of patients with eating disorders.

The "Online Learning Program in Eating disorders" is suitable for all health staff, and teaches health professionals how to identify, diagnose and manage a patient with Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia Nervosa or Binge Eating Disorder. The program is ideal for staff in rural areas, who may have difficulties accessing centralised training. It is free for the first year.

Promotional video for "Online Learning Program in Eating disorders"

Online program registration page

The CEDD website has a large number of resources on eating disorders, including podcasts, readings and Eating Disorders Standards (2nd ed.) by the Academy for Eating Disorders.