Suicide Bereavement Guidelines for Mental Health Professionals

SANE Australia has developed bereavement guidelines to help mental health professionals support the families and friends of mentally ill people who have suicided. The guidelines were created after research revealed families and friends of people with mental illness who had suicided were not receiving the support they needed, despite the fact people who are bereaved by suicide are at a much greater risk of health problems and suicide themselves.

SANE Australia suicide prevention project coordinator Sarah Coker said family and friends of mentally ill people who have suicided contend with an extra layer of complex emotions. Ms Coker said the guidelines were created for mental health nurses, psychologists, psychiatrists and other mental health workers to use as a consistent approach to assist bereaved families.

SANE Australia offers bereavement guidelines, a mental illness and bereavement kit, and workshops to assist mental health services staff.

Staying Healthy : Preventing Infectious Diseases in Early Childhood Education and Care Services

This 5th edition of Staying Healthy : Preventing infectious diseases in early childhood education and care services by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) represents an increased focus on a risk-management approach to infection prevention and control principles in daily care activities. Staying Healthy provides educators and other staff working in education and care services with simple and effective methods for minimising the spread of disease. It contains more "how to" advice on procedures and discussing exclusion periods with parents. The advice is presented in 6 colour-coded parts:

* concepts of infection control
* monitoring illness in children
* procedures
* issues for employers, educators and other staff
* fact sheets on diseases common to education and care services
* forms, useful contacts and websites.

Trends in hospitalisations due to falls by older people, Australia 1999-00 to 2010-11 (AIHW)

Trends in hospitalisations due to falls by older people, Australia 1999-00 to 2010-11
While age-standardised rates of fall injury cases increased over the 12 years to June 2011, the rate of hip fractures due to falls decreased. The patient days for hospital care directly attributable to fall-related injury doubled over the study period.

Media release

Australian Indigenous ClinicalInfoNet

The Minister for Indigenous Health, the Hon Warren Snowden MP, has launched the Australian Indigenous ClinicalInfoNet - an innovative web resource designed to assist primary health care workers in the prevention and management of chronic disease among Indigenous people.

The ClinicalInfoNet will enable doctors, nurses and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Workers to access quality-assured materials for the prevention, identification and management of five key chronic conditions - cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic kidney disease, chronic respiratory disease, and cancer.

Health practitioners will now be able to freely access evidenced-based clinical guidelines, tools and patient education resources during patient consultations. Previously, these materials were quite difficult to access from different websites, or were only available in hard-copy forms. The ClinicalInfoNet can be accessed via the Internet or through the PrimaryCare Sidebar, currently available with patient management software Medical Director, and Best Practice.

Making art with communities: a work guide...

Community arts projects are being increasingly seen in the health area. Participation in arts activities expands networks, strengthens social bonds and brings communities closer together, which are the foundations for mental wellbeing.

A community-based arts project is where an artist works with a community to facilitate a creative process that enables participants to express their needs, aspirations, inspirations, identity or sense of place.

Community-based arts projects are increasingly being used by organisations and groups in areas such as youth, health and community development because they are able to reach people and have a meaningful impact on their lives. Artists and arts organisations have been working with communities for many years.

Making art with communities: a work guide brings together some of their knowledge and experience to assist people who want to undertake community-based arts projects, but may have limited experience. It has been developed to inspire, inform and support both artists and community members.

Indigenous ear health workers' web resource

The Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet has launched the Indigenous ear health workers' web resource. This new resource aims to provide the Indigenous ear health workforce and related workers with easy-to-access, quality information about the ear health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

See :

Cardiovascular disease information sheets for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples

A new set of information sheets on cardiovascular disease and its risk factors have been developed by the Heart Foundation for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Designed for patients and families, these information sheets are easy-to-read and cover a range of topics including:

*Blood pressure
*Coronary heart disease
*Heart attack
*Physical activity

The information sheets can be used to distribute to people at workshops, community events or during individual consultations. Call the Health Information Service on 1300 36 27 87 to order your copies or downloadable versions are available from

Responding to intimate partner violence and sexual violence against women : WHO clinical and policy guidelines

A health-care provider is likely to be the first professional contact for survivors of intimate partner violence or sexual assault. Evidence suggests that women who have been subjected to violence seek health care more often than non-abused women, even if they do not disclose the associated violence. They also identify health-care providers as the professionals they would most trust with disclosure of abuse.

Responding to intimate partner violence and sexual violence against women : WHO clinical and policy guidelines are an unprecedented effort to equip healthcare providers with evidence-based guidance as to how to respond to intimate partner violence and sexual violence against women. They also provide advice for policy makers, encouraging better coordination and funding of services, and greater attention to responding to sexual violence and partner violence within training programmes for health care providers.

The guidelines are based on systematic reviews of the evidence, and cover:

* Identification and clinical care for intimate partner violence
* Clinical care for sexual assault
* Training relating to intimate partner violence and sexual assault against women
* Policy and programmatic approaches to delivering services
* Mandatory reporting of intimate partner violence.

The guidelines aim to raise awareness of violence against women among health-care providers and policy-makers, so that they better understand the need for an appropriate health-sector response. They provide standards that can form the basis for national guidelines, and for integrating these issues into health-care provider education.

ABC PM Report

Framework for Palliative and End of Life Care Service Provision

The ACI Palliative Care Network has launched the Framework for Palliative and End of Life Care Service Provision. This Framework is the first step in developing a statewide model for palliative and end of life care. It describes some of the complexities faced in providing quality palliative and end of life care across a range of acute, sub-acute, primary care and community settings, including the home.

The Framework also sets the groundwork for further developing a draft Model of Care by identifying the principles, service definitions and structural arrangements that are required for the delivery of effective, accessible and efficient care to people in NSW who are approaching or reaching the end of life, their families and carers.

Incontinence in Australia (AIHW)

Incontinence in Australia details the number of people who experienced severe incontinence in 2009, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics' Survey of Disability, Ageing and Carers. It includes estimates of prevalence rates and total expenditure on incontinence, as well as the number of primary carers of people suffering from the condition. It also updates data development since the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare's 2006 incontinence report.

Media release

New research examines the stresses of FIFO workforce

Lifeline WA, in partnership with specialist vehicle hire company Raw Hire, Australian Institute of Management WA and Edith Cowan University's The Sellenger Centre, has launched a ground-breaking research study that assessed the relationship between mental health and fly-in-fly-out (FIFO) and drive-in-drive-out (DIDO) work practices.

With a sample size of 924 respondents, the Lifeline WA research study is one of the largest ever in this field of research in Australia and provides valuable insights to the benefits and challenges of this relatively new and growing work practice, including the ways in which workers cope with these challenges.

The research found that FIFO workers are predominantly unaware of and unlikely to make use of any of the modes of mental health information and services, but rather to withdraw emotionally and to ignore personal needs.

Stigma is the main barrier to help-seeking, with the principal reason workers do not reach out for assistance being the fear of appearing to be "soft", weak or unable to cope. The other main barrier is structural, being the lack of service accessibility onsite and the lack of access to services from remote sites, including the lack of mobile phone coverage and/or internet access.

The recommendations aim to address the help-seeking barriers and provide supports to maintain and enhance the emotional wellbeing and mental health of the FIFO and DIDO workforce.

Executive summary

Main Report

Australian Journal of Advanced Nursing : the latest in Australian nursing research

The latest online issue (v. 30 No. 4) of "The Australian Journal of Advanced Nursing" is now available

Featured articles in the latest issue are :

* Open access to nursing journals

* A view from the outside : nurses' clinical decision making in the twenty first century

* Diabetes - a significant contributor to complications in cardiac surgery

* Disseminating research findings to employees in large rural mining organisations

* Career choices and destinations of rural nursing students undertaking single and double degrees in nursing

* Clinical placement in Jordan

* The effect of overactive bladder syndrome on the sexual life of asymptomatic continent women

Free Palliative Care Online Training (Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association)

Whether you work in aged care, acute or primary care, chances are you'll find yourself at some stage caring for someone with a terminal illness. Every person's needs are unique and sorting your way through the emotional and social stresses faced by a dying person and their family can be difficult.

A new online training program has been developed to help health professionals who provide palliative care to aged persons in the community. The modules will help you develop your skills and confidence, so that the next person you care for at the end of their life will benefit.

You can register online and begin your FREE Online Training NOW!

What does the training cover?

Based on the Guidelines for a Palliative Approach for Aged Care in the Community Setting, 4 online modules have been developed to help you to:

●Reflect on the needs of people and their families as they approach the end of life
●Build your screening and assessment skills
●Develop confidence in having end of life conversations, especially around Advance Care Planning
●Invest in your own self‑care and build resilience
●Connect you to a wider network of experts who can support and assist you

Telehealth in primary health care settings within Australia and internationally

Telehealth in primary health care settings within Australia and internationally, a PHCRIS Policy Issue Review, examines the evidence on telehealth models in Australia and elsewhere, specifically focusing on real-time videoconsultations involving patients, primary health care providers, and specialists.

Overall, the available evidence indicated that the outcomes of teleconsultations by videoconferencing were not significantly different compared to face-to-face consultations for most types of specialties assessed; and patients participating in teleconsultations reported significantly higher levels of acceptability and satisfaction.

While the evidence generally showed non-significant differences or positive benefits of video consultations, they are not intended to replace face-to-face consultations, but rather to provide timely access to health care in circumstances where face-to-face consultations are not available due to distance or other barriers.


Growing our children up strong and deadly: healing for children and young people (Healing Foundation)

It is becoming increasingly apparent that the trauma experienced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people by past government policies must be addressed if the resulting negative behaviours are to be circumvented (for example, alcohol and other drug misuse, criminal behaviour).

Recognising the importance of healing in the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people, Growing our children up strong and deadly: healing for children and young people reports on the work of the Healing Foundation in creating a healing environment for the younger generation. This paper also includes a discussion on intergenerational trauma, and the emerging evidence of what works in addressing trauma in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population.

Healing Foundation website

National appraisal of continuous quality improvement initiatives in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander primary health care: final report

The interest in continuous quality improvement (CQI) efforts in the Australian primary health care field, including in the Indigenous primary health care sector has increased over the last several years. This interest has supported increased financial incentives (e.g. to achieve accreditation and/or complete specific services such as health checks), attention to developing performance indicators, and moves to rationalise reporting requirements using web-based information technology.

This appraisal looked at emerging CQI initiatives within the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health sector around Australia, their uptake within the sector, and the major barriers and facilitators to implementing these initiatives. It then identified those factors that are critical to improving the acceptability and effectiveness of CQI initiatives.

Direct link to report

More information

beyondblue Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people online Help Site

beyondblue Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people online Help Site aims to promote social emotional wellbeing in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people by addressing depression and anxiety. While there are risk and protective factors such as housing, employment and education that affect everyone, there are also specific risk and protective factors that influence the social emotional wellbeing and rates of depression and anxiety among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Reducing the impact of depression and anxiety among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities is a priority for beyondblue. A range of research, information, education and support strategies have been developed and will continue to be developed in consultation with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and organisations.

New Indigenous CPD resources for health practitioners

This new portal on the Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet website leads to research and other contemporary health knowledge in forms that have immediate, practical utility for practitioners and policy-makers. Life-long learning is required for all people working in the health system to stay abreast of recent developments and emerging knowledge and practice. This is essential in order to be responsive to scientific and other developments and changing societal expectations. The downloadable publication listing also shows the estimated number of hours required to work through each resource.

Topics covered include Overview of Australian Indigenous health status 2012 , cardiovascular health, road safety, illicit drug use, male health, female health, the use of kava, and several others.


Child sexual abuse resources

In order to support the work of the Australian Government's Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, the Australian Institute of Family Studies has put together a number of resources looking at understanding, preventing and responding to child sexual abuse. Some very useful facts and figures and summary sheets, as well as links to support organisations and reporting structures are included.

Healthcare 2011-12: Comparing performance across Australia (COAG)

Healthcare 2011-12: Comparing performance across Australia, the 4th COAG report on the National Healthcare Agreement shows that the overall health of Australians and the quality of our healthcare system is improving. Life expectancy is increasing and rates of smoking, low birthweight babies and infant mortality are all improving. Still, Australia's health system faces some challenges. We have an increasing chronic disease burden, a growing and ageing population, and rising costs of services and health technologies.

The obesity rate continues to increase, with 7 in 20 adults being overweight, and a further 6 in 20 being classed as obese.

The report identifies a 16.2% reduction in the number of heart attacks per 100,000 people over 4 years. However, rates are much worse for Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander peoples, nearly 3 times the rate of other Australians.

Report cements the purpose of Medicare Locals.

Inequalities in heart health must be addressed.

Clinical Practice Guidelines for the Management of Overweight and Obesity in Adults, Adolescents and Children in Australia (2013)

Health and diet are big topics in Australia, with about 60% of adult Australians overweight or obese. In 2010, the Australian Government's Department of Health and Ageing commissioned the NHMRC to develop Clinical Practice Guidelines for the Management of Overweight and Obesity for Adults, Adolescents and Children in Australia.

Intended for use by clinicians including general practitioners, primary health care nurses, primary health care professionals and allied health professionals, the Guidelines follow the primary care "5As" framework: ask and assess, advise, assist, arrange. A range of health benefits are promoted in the guidelines including healthy eating plans, increased physical activity and behavioural modification to help patients manage obesity.

The Guidelines make recommendations regarding the management of individuals who have a body mass index (BMI) greater than 25.0 m/kg2 and are at risk or currently have an obesity related comorbidity.

Systematic review of the evidence

Press release