Rural health impacts of climate change (rural adversity)

This article describes the adversity and effect of climate change on the health of rural communities, including mental health effects.

Please see the following links for more discussion:

The following link describes the effects in more detail:

Is schizophrenia a ‘real’ illness?

In an attempt to move away from the traditional language used to describe psychosis and schizophrenia, the British Psychological Society (BPS) has launched an update to its thinking on this issue.The foreword of the report it has published sets out the vision:

We hope that in future, services will no longer insist that service users accept one particular view of their problem, namely the traditional view that they have an illness which needs to be treated primarily by medication.

The report comes at a pertinent time for mental health research; last year the same organisation questioned the value of psychiatric diagnosis altogether. This new document seems to cast doubt on many received wisdoms about schizophrenia, even questioning whether it is an illness

Please see link below for more details:

Rural suicide: Vic farmer raises $10,000 and sparks global conversation

A Victorian farmer will hand over more than $10,000 to Beyondblue, following a personal project that's attracted support from across Australia and overseas.

Noel Bull knows at least 15 rural people who've died of suicide and has been selling his 'Farming in Your Spare Time' calendars to raise money for the support service.

The calendars feature rural images taken by a photographer relative and tips about how to reduce the stress of farming.

See link below for more details:

Study recommends using local therapists in regional towns to help residents with disabilities

A study into the challenges for people with disabilities in the western region has found local residents need to be involved in delivering services.
The four year study by the University of Sydney launched trial projects in a number of western region towns including Brewarrina, Walgett, Lightning Ridge and Broken Hill.

Project manager Dr Angela Dew has called for a new model for therapy. Please see link below for more details:

Smokes, drink and drugs hitting harder in the bush than the city: report

A report released by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) has shown people in rural and remote NSW are lighting up at twice the rate as their big city counterparts.
It also showed crystal meth or ice to have replaced powder as the most popular form of drug used.
The National Drug Strategy Household Survey reported people living in rural and remote areas in the state were more likely to use methamphetamines, smoke daily or partake in risky drinking behaviour compared to metropolitan areas.

Please see more details of the report at the following link:

Indigenous elder says government programs failing to stop youth suicide

David Cole says Indigenous communities in the Top End have some of the highest rates of youth suicide in the world and funding should be redirected to grass roots Aboriginal organisations to stop the deaths.

A report out yesterday found the suicide rate among young Indigenous people was almost four times the rate of the rest of the population.

Please read more from the article at the following link:

Mental health support extended

DESPITE intensifying public commentary about drought policy, the federal government has announced an extra $3.5 million to enable continued support for mental health services in drought-affected communities in NSW and Queensland.

In a joint statement to Fairfax Agricultural Media, Agricultural Minister Barnaby Joyce, Social Services Minister Kevin Andrews, Human Services Minister Marise Payne and Assistant Social Services Minister Mitch Fifield said the government understood the hardship being faced hardworking Australian families.

Please read more from this article at the following link:

Overcoming Indigenous Disadvantage: Key Indicators 2014

The Overcoming Indigenous Disadvantage report from the Productivity Commission, measures the wellbeing of Australia's Indigenous peoples. The report provides information about outcomes across a range of strategic areas such as early child development, education and training, healthy lives, economic participation, home environment, and safe and supportive communities. The report examines whether policies and programs are achieving positive outcomes for Indigenous Australians.

Media release

Overcoming Indigenous Disadvantage: Productivity Commission report identifies mixed results for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians

Federal Indigenous Affairs Minister Nigel Scullion says the Productivity Commission report on Indigenous wellbeing is a "call to arms for every Australian".

The report shows there has been an alarming jump in the number of Indigenous people being jailed and self harming, and while life expectancy and child mortality rates have improved, the rates of disability and chronic disease remain high.

Please see the full article at the following link:

Health promotion in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities

A special edition of the Australian Journal of Primary Health (Vol. 20, No. 4)  focuses on Health Promotion in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Communities. Authors Kerry Arabena, Kevin Rowley and Sarah MacLean look at these communities and the importance of family and the natural world. They discuss building capacity within their organisations and changing the way mainstream communities interact with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

A clear message is that for too long Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have been described as having problems that are too big and complex to be solved within communities themselves bu now we are changing the collective story from one of deficit, to one of strength and resilience.

Contact your health library if you have trouble accessing the full text.

A roving mental health specialist drives 1000km a week to visit clients in rural communities

In Albury, in southern NSW today, anxiety, depression, grief and a lack of mental health services are on the agenda for the 6th Australian Rural and Remote Mental Health Symposium.

They're issues psychiatric nurse Michael Oates knows too well. For the past 26 years, the former Irishman has been driving 1000km a week down dusty roads to provide an outreach service in Victoria's north west.

Please see more info on this article at the following link:


Cardiovascular disease, diabetes and chronic kidney disease: Australian facts: prevalence and incidence (AIHW)

Cardiovascular disease, diabetes and chronic kidney disease: Australian facts is a series of 5 reports by the National Centre for Monitoring Vascular Diseases at the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare that describe the combined burden of cardiovascular disease (including coronary heart disease and stroke), diabetes and chronic kidney disease.

This report on prevalence and incidence provides a comprehensive summary of the latest available data on the prevalence and incidence in the Australian population of these three chronic vascular diseases, acting alone or together. It examines age and sex characteristics and variations across population groups, by geographical location, and by socioeconomic disadvantage.

Media release

Taking a best possible medication history

Get it right! Taking a best possible medication historyis an online learning module aimed at junior medical officers, nursing and pharmacy staff for admitting patients to hospital. Obtaining an accurate medication history (known as a best possible medication history or BPMH, is the first step in the medication reconciliation process and helps with making therapeutic decisions.

The module includes a video which explains what information should be recorded and how certain techniques can influence the accuracy of the history obtained. There is also a short role-play scenario and some useful tips. Nurses and pharmacists can earn professional development points by completing the module, which was developed by the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care and NPS MedicineWise. You will need to complete a free registration process before you get started.

Reposted from HealthInfo Blog

Healthy eating guidelines for metabolic and endocrine

The American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists has released a new guideline, Clinical practice guidelines for healthy eating for the prevention and treatment of metabolic and endocrine diseases in adults.

The Guideline, cosponsored with the American College of Endocrinology and the Obesity Society, targets adults with or at risk of metabolic and endocrine diseases and considers morbidity, mortality, obesity, pregnancy issues, elderly care and malnourishment in making very specific dietary recommendations

Arthritis and disability

Arthritis and Disability is a report on the lived experience of people with arthritis and similar conditions. It was commissioned by Arthritis Australia and outlines the methods, findings and implications of this research, carried out by the Social Policy Research Centre at the University of New South Wales.

Arthritis is the second leading cause of disability and the most common cause of chronic pain in Australia, and the most prevalent long-term health condition, affecting 3 million people or about 15 per cent of the population. This work looks at the extent to which arthritis is associated with disability–who is affected, how people are affected, what helps people cope with their condition day to day, and how support services can be improved.

Palliative care factsheets for patients and carers

CareSearch Palliative Care Knowledge Network has just released a new feature on their website called My Information Kit.  This site allows health professionals to select relevant factsheets which have been compiled by CareSearch, the Australian Centre for Grief and Bereavement, Palliative Care Australia and Carers NSW, for printing or emailing to patients and carers. There is provision for a cover sheet to be attached including your name and contact details.

The factsheets cover a range of issues including bereavement, support and wellbeing for carers, pain, communication and living with a terminal illness.

National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey

The National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey (NATSISS) is part of an established program of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander statistics collected by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). The survey collects detailed information on the socio-economic circumstance of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people every six years.

The NATSISS differs in focus from the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Survey (NATSIHS) but provides reporting on some overlapping content in both surveys, every 3 years. The NATSISS 2014-15 will be conducted from September 2014 through to the end of April 2015.

The main purpose of the survey is to monitor the social and economic wellbeing of Australia's Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population. The NATSISS will expand on the information collected about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in previous social surveys to:

  • explore Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples' participation in society and barriers to that participation;
  • provide information that is relevant and useful for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in their own decision making and planning;
  • allow for inter-relationships between different areas of social concern to be explored;
  • provide insight into Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples' experiences of social and/or economic disadvantage;
  • provide comparisons with the non-Indigenous population; and
  • measure changes over time.


About NATSISS (including explanatory video

Dr Calma urges support for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders survey

Rural residents need more than a quick-fix approach to mental health

For some country residents, a mental health check at a field day may be the only face-to-face mental health care they encounter. The Council of Australian Governments' Reform Council data tells us only half of remote area residents needing mental health care actually receive it, when compared to people accessing mental health care in cities.

The following article compares rates of mental health in rural and urban areas, including shortfalls in mental health access within rural populations.

Rural mental health in focus

FARMERS and rural workers should be encouraged not to keep their problems "parked under their hat", says Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce.

Despite similar rates of reported mental disorders in both rural and metropolitan areas, suicide rates have consistently been found to be higher in rural areas according to the Medical Journal of Australia.

Please see more at the following link which discusses suicide rates in rural Australia:

Hospitalised injury in children and young people: 2011-12 (AIHW)

Hospitalised injury in children and young people: 2011-12 provides information about serious hospitalised injury in Australian children and young people aged 0 to 24 years. The report takes a developmental stage approach to examining injury acknowledging that age and injury are more closely linked at some periods of life (for example, early childhood and young adulthood).

Media release.

Rural Innovations Changing Healthcare 2015

The ACI Rural Health Network has announce the 2015 Rural innovations Changing Healthcare (RICH) Forum to be held on 18 March.

The forum will be 'virtual' in design, linking 18 satellite groups via videoconference. A call for abstracts for presentations and posters on the forum theme of "collaborative teams" has been issued. Abstracts may be submitted until 1 February 2015 at

For more information see the Facebook page  or contact Jenny Preece

Hip Fracture Care Clinical Guideline

The NHMRC-approved Australian and New Zealand Guideline for Hip Fracture Care - Improving Outcomes in Hip Fracture Management of Adults was released by the Australian and New Zealand Hip Fracture Registry (ANZHFR) Steering Group in September 2014.

This guideline is designed to help professionals providing care for people with a hip fracture to deliver consistent, effective and efficient care and is available through the Clinical Practice Guidelines Portal.

Effective strategies to strengthen the mental health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people (Closing the Gap Clearinghouse)

Effective strategies to strengthen the mental health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people

The purpose of this paper is to draw on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives, theoretical understandings and available evidence to answer questions about what is required to effectively address Indigenous people's mental health and social and emotional wellbeing. It reviews the research and evaluation evidence to show what works, what doesn't work and what we don't know.

Australian sports injury hospitalisations: 2011-12 (AIHW)

Australian sports injury hospitalisations: 2011-12

During 2011-12, over 36,000 people aged 15 and over were hospitalised as the result of an injury sustained while playing sport. This represented 8% of all injury hospitalisations during that year. Around two thirds of those admitted to hospital were aged under 35 and over three quarters were men.

Media release