Anytime Fitness fundraiser fit to boost mental health prospects

Centre for Rural And Remote Mental Health executive officer of programs Trevor Hazell and Anytime Fitness manager Megan Griffin hope a recent treadmill challenge can make meaningful change for those living with mental illness.

ANYTIME Fitness manager Megan Griffin knows the benefit of exercise for those living with mental illness. Ms Griffin lives with anxiety herself and is passionate about helping people manage their mental health issues.

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Focus on illicit drugs puts Australia’s drinking problem on ice

Recent discussions of Australia’s “ice epidemic” have culminated in a A$9 million government-funded media campaign to raise community awareness of the drug’s harms, particularly in rural areas. We do need to address the harms of illicit drugs, but, in doing so, we mustn’t overlook the greater social impact of excessive alcohol consumption.

A number of commentators have cautioned about the possible negative effects of government fear-mongering on parents, families and communities. Experts have also highlighted the substantial evidence that drug education campaigns are, at best, ineffective and, at worst, encourage experimentation.

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Mental health reform too slow, say some experts

It's been 8 months since the Government received a major report on Australia's mental health failings. PM understands a failure of mental health experts to agree on all the recommendations has held up crucial reform.

The Health Minister has ordered a separate review of the report's recommendations. Many in the mental health sector are frustrated by what they say are unacceptable delays to improving care for suicidal Australians.

Poorly planned, and a massive drain on people's wellbeing. Those were the findings of a National Mental Health Commission report ordered by the Federal Government to look at Australia's mental health system.

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Preventing Aboriginal maternal smoking WA portal

The Preventing Aboriginal maternal smoking WA (PAMSWA) portal aims to address the gap in accessing coordinated services and resources for health professionals addressing maternal smoking among pregnant Aboriginal women in WA, whose smoking rates are reported at being four times higher than non-Indigenous women.

The free to access portal provides quality information about smoking cessation and prevention to support better health for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women, their babies and families with the selection of content carefully evaluated to ensure it is culturally appropriate and promotes best practice methods and strategies available for working with pregnant Aboriginal women.

The portal also links to the Preventing Aboriginal maternal smoking WA yarning place to encourage information sharing and collaboration among health professionals and others involved in maternal health among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women. Ultimately, the portal will create a solid knowledge base about Aboriginal maternal smoking and establish the site as the 'go-to' place for any information, resources, training opportunities and support for health professionals who work with pregnant Aboriginal women and their families, advancing Aboriginal maternal and child health outcomes.

Preventing Aboriginal Smoking WA portal

Press release

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Organisations report

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare has released Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health organisations: Online Services Report - key results 2013-14.

The report includes details on:

  • 203 organisations provided primary health-care services to around 419,000 clients through 4.6 million client contacts
  • 189 counsellors provided social and emotional wellbeing or Link Up counselling services to around 16,600 clients through 88,200 client contacts
  • 56 organisations provided substance-use rehabilitation and treatment services to around 43,000 clients through 371,000 episodes of care.
  • Download the full report for free online.

    Antimicrobial resistance strategy

    Responding to the threat of antimicrobial resistance: Australia's first national antimicrobial resistance strategy 2015–2019 has been released by the Australian Government this month. It was developed in partnership with industry and government, including the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Healthcare and aims to guide actions by governments, health professionals, farmers and veterinarians to respond to the threat of antibiotic misuse and resistance.

    The Strategy document discusses the looming public health issues globally and nationally related to antimicrobial resistance and "calls on all stakeholders to support a collaborative effort to change those practices that have contributed to the development of resistance and implement new initiatives to reduce inappropriate antibiotic usage and resistance."

    Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People and dementia: a review of the research

    Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People and dementia: a review of the research by Alzheimer's Australia outlines the prevalence of dementia and modifiable risk factors in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

    Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people experience dementia at an earlier age then the general population and this, combined with the steadily growing number of older Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, will result in the number of people effected by dementia growing significantly in the coming years.

    Although higher rates of dementia have been reported in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, the disease is often overlooked by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, health workers and service providers. Geographical constraints in the provision of services, a lack of education and awareness in communities and by health workers and the prevalence of other chronic diseases have all posed considerable barriers to the recognition of dementia as an emerging health issue.

    The report adds to a strong evidence base on the subject, which has led Alzheimer's Australia to produce a suite of resources on Indigenous dementia including DVDs, newsletters and other reports and resources.

    New reports on Australian hospital statistics (AIHW)

    The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare has released three new reports:


    Australia's hospitals 2013-14 at a glance provides information on Australias public and private hospitals. In 2013-14, there were 9.7 million hospitalisations, including 2.5 million involving surgery. Public hospitals provided care for 7.2 presentations to emergency departments, with 74% of patients seen within recommended times for their triage category and about 73% were completed within 4 hours. This publication is a companion to the 2013-14 Australian hospital statistics suite of publications.
    AIHW catalogue number HSE 157.
    Available to order at the AIHW website for $17
    In 2013-14, about 46 million occasions of service were provided for non-admitted patients by 558 public hospitals, including:
    -6 million occasions of service for emergency care
    -18 million for outpatient care
    -22 million for other non-admitted patient care.
    For the first time, information is also included about the patients age and sex, their Indigenous status, how the service was delivered and how it was funded.
    AIHW catalogue number HSE 159.
    Available to order at the AIHW website for $13
    Hospital resources 2013-14: Australian hospital statistics presents a detailed overview of public and private hospital resources in Australia. In 2013-14, there were:
    - 747 public hospitals: with over 58,600 beds that accounted for more than $44 billion of expenditure.
    - 612 private hospitals with almost 31,000 beds that accounted for more than $11 billion of expenditure.
    AIHW catalogue number HSE 160.
    Available to order at the AIHW website for $14

    Media release

    Improving Aboriginal Patient Journeys: New reports from the Managing Two Worlds Together Project

    The Lowitja Institute has released several reports from stage 3 of the Managing Two Worlds Together Project. These reports provide several specialist case studies. The list of new reports is as follows :

    Improving Aboriginal Patient Journeys - Study Report

    Improving Aboriginal Patient Journeys - Rural & Remote Case Studies

    Improving Aboriginal Patient Journeys - Cardiac Case Studies

    Improving Aboriginal Patient Journeys - City Sites Case Studies

    Improving Aboriginal Patient Journeys - Maternity Case Studies

    Improving Aboriginal Patient Journeys - Renal case studies

    Improving Aboriginal Patient Journeys - Workbook

    The full list of the Lowitja Institute's publications can be found here.

    Alcohol and other drug treatment services in Australia 2013-14 (AIHW)

    Alcohol and other drug treatment services in Australia 2013-14 reveals that a round 119,000 clients were estimated to have received over 180,700 treatment episodes from 795 publicly funded alcohol and other drug treatment agencies in 2013-14. Alcohol was the most common drug leading clients aged 30 and over to seek treatment, while cannabis was most common for clients aged 10-29.

    Over the 5 years from 2009-10, there has been an increase in the proportion of episodes where amphetamines were the principal drug on concern (from 7% to 17%) and an increase in smoking/inhaling as the method of administration for amphetamines. A majority of treatment episodes had a duration of three months or less, and counselling remains the most common treatment type.

    My Aged Care website

    From 1 July 2015 the aged care system is changing, with the aim to make it easier for Australians to understand their options, the costs involved and how to access this support.

    My Aged Care is the first step for individuals and their families seeking advice on their options and how to access this support. It has been established by the Australian Government to help people navigate the aged care system.

    Free app a guide down diagnostic imaging pathways


    The Western Australian Department of Health has released a free app based on the Diagnostic Imaging Pathways (DIP) decision support resource aimed at referring doctors and medical students.

    Endorsed by the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists, the DIP is a suite of pathways designed to guide the choice of the most appropriate diagnostic imaging examinations in the correct sequence. They aim to prevent examinations that are not needed and ensure that appropriate examinations are provided.

    The new DIP app has over 160 pathways covering all of the major organ systems and many clinical conditions that are seen in general and specialist clinical practice.

    It includes information on the most cost-effective diagnostic imaging strategies in a large number of clinical scenarios, the risks of ionising radiation and the different modalities and examinations used in diagnostic imaging.


    The free iPhone app is now available, with an Android version in development.

    Primary Health Network Discussion papers

    From 1 July 2015, Medicare Locals will be replaced by Primary Health Networks (PHNs). Key challenges for PHNs across six priority areas identified by Health Minister Sussan Ley in April 2015 are outlined in PHN Discussion Papers.

    PHN Discussion Paper #1 - Primary Health Network Critical Success Factors, reflects on the lessons learnt from previous organised primary health care models in Australia, considers the factors that are essential for PHNs to create true public value, and identifies some key issues which PHNs and the Government need to address to ensure that PHNs are given every opportunity to succeed.

    PHN Discussion Paper #2 - Mental Health considers organised primary health care in Australia and identifies key issues for exploration and resolution.

    PHN Discussion Paper #3 - Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health considers this topic in the context of organised primary health care in Australia and identifies key issues for exploration and resolution

    PHN Discussion Paper #5 - Health Workforce considers this topic in the context of organised primary health care in Australia and identifies key issues for exploration and resolution

    PHN Discussion Paper #6 - eHealth considers this topic in the context of organised primary health care in Australia and identifies key issues for exploration and resolution

    Further Information

    Map My Health Career

    Map My Health Career is a new website designed to help junior doctors carve out their medical career.

    The website gives junior doctors a thorough insight into all 53 medical specialties, from surgery to general practice, paediatrics to psychiatry, anaesthesia to infectious diseases.

    American Cancer Society Magalog

    The American Cancer Society has grouped together a large number of articles into ACS Magalog.

    All of these articles are free and present some of the latest emerging therapeutic strategies, evidence based care practices, screening and prevention tools, and trends and risk factors in cancer. The articles are relevant to people in research, clinical practice, or public health.

    American Cancer Society Magalog 2015

    Oxford Medical Case Reports

    Oxford Medical Case Reports(OMCR)is an open access, peer-reviewed online journal.
    It publishes original and educational case reports that expand the field of medicine. The journal covers all medical specialties comprising a comprehensive resource for physicians in all fields and at all stages of training. You can either browse the current issue and archiveor look through case reports via subject specialty.

    The Doctor's Bag : emergency app.

    The Doctor's Bag is a free app designed to support Australian health professionals during emergencies.

    The app has two modules:
    The Doctor's Bag module provides recommended doses for drugs in the PBS Prescriber Bag, including adrenaline doses for anaphylaxis and calculators for weight-based dosing in children. It acts as an emergency backup, providing reassurance that the correct dose has been given. It can also be used as an educational tool in non-emergency settings. The information is kept up to date as the contents of the PBS Prescriber Bag change.
    The Anaphylaxis Management module is based on the popular Anaphylaxis: emergency management for health professionals wall chart published by Australian Prescriber

    More information and download links.

    National Consensus Statement: Essential Elements for Safe and High-Quality End-of-Life Care

    A new consensus statement describing the essential elements for providing safe and high-quality care at the end of life has been endorsed by the Australian Health Ministers as the national approach to the delivery of end-of-life care in Australian hospitals.

    Professor Villis Marshall AC, Chair of the Commission, said "Good care in the last days, weeks and months of life can help minimise the distress and grief associated with death and dying for the individual, and for their family, friends and carers. The consensus statement is an important step in improving end-of-life care in Australia."

    The types of end-of-life care that a patient may need include long term symptom management to maintain quality of life, intensive family support, and physical care to maintain comfort while a person is dying.

    More information:

    The health and welfare of Australia's Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples 2015 (AIHW)

    The health and welfare of Australias Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples 2015 is the eighth in a series of reports that provide a comprehensive statistical picture of a range of topics considered important for improving the health and wellbeing of Indigenous people.

    The report presents up-to-date statistics, as well as trend information. It examines differences between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians, as well as differences by factors such as age, sex and, in particular, remoteness.

    The report shows that, while in many areas statistics are improving, others such as suicide and cancer show an increasing gap. Also of major concern is a rapidly increasing Indigenous incarceration rate.

    Indigenous disadvantage: more evidence that the gap is widening (ABC)

    Medical Journal of Australia ANZAC edtion

    The Medical Journal of Australia's ANZAC Day Commemorative Edition has been published with an editorial by Brendan Nelson. Issues covered include PTSD, 100 years of military medicine, the gastrointestinal woes of the men in the trenches at Gallipoli and the doctors who treated them and an article on abolishing nuclear weapons.

    Many articles are open access, and others may be obtained through CIAP for NSW Health employees.

    Trends in injury deaths, Australia : 1999-00 to 2009-10 (AIHW)

    Trends in injury deaths, Australia : 1999-00 to 2009-10 focuses on trends in deaths due to injury and poisoning that occurred over the period 1999-00 to 2009-10 and shows that:

    The age-standardised rate of injury deaths decreased by an average of 3% per year between 1999-00 and 2004-05 and changed little after that; Rates of injury deaths involving transport injury, drowning, thermal injury, suicide and homicide, tended to decline from 1999-00 to 2007-08, while rates of poisoning deaths involving pharmaceuticals fell sharply to 2001-02 before rising again.

    Rates for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people were 2 to 3 times as high as rates for Other Australians over the period from 1999-00 to 2007-08.

    The main report is accompanied by a technical report, Injury deaths data, Australia: technical report on issues associated with reporting for reference years 1999-2010.

    Media release

    Access to health services by Australians with disability 2012 (AIHW)

    Access to health services by Australians with disability 2012

    In 2012, 17% of people with disability who needed to see a GP delayed or did not go because of the cost; 20% who needed to see a medical specialist did not go mainly due to the cost; and 67% who needed to see a dentist delayed seeing or did not go because of the cost.

    Compared with people with disability living in Major cities, people with disability living in Outer regional and Remote areas had lower use rates of services provided by GPs, medical specialists and dentists as well as coordinated care provided by different types of health professionals. They were more likely to visit a hospital emergency department for health issues that could potentially be dealt with by non-hospital services, and to face barriers to accessing health services.

    Media release

    Incidence of type 1 diabetes in Australia (AIHW)

    Incidence of type 1 diabetes in Australia 2000-2013 presents the latest available national data on new cases of type 1 diabetes from Australia's National (insulin-treated) Diabetes Register.

    In 2013, there were 2,323 new cases of type 1 diabetes in Australia, equating to 11 cases per 100,000 population. This rate has remained relatively stable between 2000 and 2013, fluctuating between 10 and 13 cases per 100,000 population each year.

    Need for consumer voice in reduction of seclusion and restraint

    On Friday 29 May Deputy Commissioner Bradley Foxlewin delivered the keynote address at the 10th National Seclusion and Restraint Reduction forum in Melbourne, which aims to reinvigorate the conversation about the reduction of restrictive practices in mental health care.

    Bradley, co-chair of the National Seclusion and Restraint Project Core Reference Group, is a passionate advocate against seclusion and restraint in support of better outcomes for people with mental illness.

    “Reduction and elimination of the use of seclusion and restraint is a human rights issue,” Bradley said.

    “There is a significant lack of consumer and carer voices in clinical decision making around seclusion and restraint. This is mirrored by the absence of consumer led research; we are about 10 years behind the UK in that respect.

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    Fly-in, fly-out parliamentary inquiry: AMAQ cites mental health concerns over compulsory FIFO

    The Australian Medical Association Queensland (AMAQ) says compulsory fly-in, fly-out (FIFO) work practices create significant problems for families and towns.

    The AMAQ has made a submission to the Queensland parliamentary inquiry investigating FIFO work practices.

    The organisation, which represents the state's medical practitioners, said it had been advised that most FIFO workers who suffered from depression and anxiety were worried about relationships.

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    Cutting Indigenous smoking

    We can cut Indigenous smoking and save lives – here's how (The Conversation)

    More and more Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander smokers are quitting and fewer young people are taking up smoking. In 10 years, the proportion of former smokers who have successfully quit has jumped from 24% to 37%.

    "Talking about the smokes" 15 articles on Indigenous smoking (Open Access) is a Medical Journal of Australia supplement on aspects of Indigenous smoking.