Wednesday, 27 May 2015
At a national rural health conference in Darwin today, the Commission's chief executive said it was time to start reforming mental health services so people could get the help they need.
The CEO of the national mental health commission David Butt says mental health needs are often higher in the bush, but services are harder to come by.
At a national rural health conference in Darwin today he spoke about the need for change to make sure people across the country get the help they need.
See more at: http://www.abc.net.au/pm/content/2015/s4242091.htm
Mental health experts say people living in remote, regional and rural parts of Australia are more vulnerable to mental health problems because of poor socio-economic conditions and a lack of accessible services.
The Mental Health Commission's chief executive David Butt said bad housing, high unemployment and chronic diseases like diabetes and heart disease all add up to increased levels of psychological distress.
See more at: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-05-25/online-chat-rooms-future-of-remote-mental-health-experts/6496178
Monday, 25 May 2015
The condition affects the frontal lobe and can cause limited patience as well as aggressive and violent behaviour.
The Brain Injury Association of Tasmania wants the State Government to provide early intervention services so the behaviour associated with acquired brain injury does not lead to domestic violence.
See more at: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-05-25/funding-needed-brain-injuries-link-to-domestic-violence/6493726
Australia has a serious problem, beyondblue Chairman The Hon. Jeff Kennett AC has said, because many of the medical professionals who the public turns to for help are overworked, stressed, depressed, dependent on alcohol or other substances and are at risk of suicide.
Mr Kennett has urged all Australians to watch Four Corners on the ABC tomorrow as the program investigates the pressure Australian doctors face in the workplace.
The investigation follows the known sudden deaths of four young doctors this year and reports of improper working conditions, sexual harassment and bullying within the health system. In 2013, beyondblue conducted a world-first survey of doctors’ and medical students’ mental health and discovered that they experience much higher rates of suicidal thoughts and psychological distress than the general community.
Mr Kennett said the recent troubling reports showed more must be done to address this situation.
See more at: http://www.beyondblue.org.au/docs/default-source/media-release-pdf/doctors-in-crisis-as-their-working-conditions-fuel-psychological-distress-may-2015.pdf?sfvrsn=0
Friday, 22 May 2015
Keeping body and mind together: Improving the physical health and life expectancy of people with a serious mental illness (report)
This comorbidity compounds the disadvantages already experienced by people with mental illness and is associated with a far shorter life expectancy.
Some estimates suggest that the lives of both men and women with serious mental illness are up to 30% shorter than those of the general population (Piatt et al., 2010) and Australian research indicates that the gap is increasing rather than diminishing (Lawrence et al., 2013).
See more of the RANZCP report at: https://www.ranzcp.org/Files/Publications/RANZCP-Keeping-body-and-mind-together.aspx
Wednesday, 20 May 2015
The findings, published in in Nature Communications, suggest it might be possible to arrest the disease using drugs that remove iron from the brain.
"We think that iron is contributing to the disease progression of Alzheimer's disease," says neuroscientist Dr Scott Ayton from the University of Melbourne. "This is strong evidence to base a clinical trial on lowering iron content in the brain to see if that would impart a cognitive benefit."
Ayton says iron was first implicated in Alzheimer's disease in the 1950s, following post mortem studies showing higher iron levels in the brains of those with the disease.
"But there has been debate for a long period of time whether this is important or whether it's just a coincidence," says Ayton.
To help settle this question, Ayton and colleagues studied the link between iron and Alzheimer's disease in three groups of people: 91 people with normal cognition; 144 people with mild cognitive impairment; and 67 people with Alzheimer's disease.
See more at: http://www.abc.net.au/science/articles/2015/05/20/4238548.htm
In his report, Delivery of the petrol sniffing strategy in remote Indigenous communities, Auditor-General, Ian McPhee, said research results indicated that the introduction of LAF 'has been successful in contributing to reductions in the incidence of petrol sniffing'.
Mr McPhee said that in 2005, a type of LAF was developed by BP Australia as a substitute to regular unleaded petrol (RULP) and the Australian Government commenced supporting its distribution to communities.
See more at: http://www.healthinfonet.ecu.edu.au/about/news/3182
See more at: http://www.northqueenslandregister.com.au/news/agriculture/general/healthcare/focus-on-rural-health-at-darwin/2732617.aspx
Monday, 18 May 2015
With more than 1,800 new cases in Australia each week, dementia is predicted to be one of the biggest public health issues we will ever face.
"It's forecast that in about twenty years dementia will be the number one killer of Australians and the most expensive health disorder," said Associate Professor Michael Valenzuela, Leader of Regenerative Neuroscience Group at the University's Brain and Mind Research Institute.
Would you want to know you are at risk of dementia in the future? Is prevention possible? And can we really support people to live well with this disease? Different perspectives will be uncovered in a free Sydney Ideas public forum hosted by the University of Sydney.
At the launch John spoke of the lack of integration of mental health services, which can be difficult to navigate for consumer, carers and even service providers themselves.
“The Strategic Plan for Mental Health in NSW highlights the importance of integrated community-based care and local action for reform.
“The Mental Health Atlas is a major step forward in facilitating local action that will benefit the lives of people who experience mental health issues. We need tools like these to be able to see what our services look like now in order to monitor positive change in the future,” John said.
Visit the Mental Health Atlas at http://www.wentwest.com.au/images/WSPIR/MH_Atlas_of%20wSyd.pdf
Thursday, 14 May 2015
The MDMS would provide undergraduate medical training from campuses in Bendigo, Orange, and Wagga Wagga, and reserve 80 per cent of enrolments for rural, regional and Indigenous students.
The Vice-Chancellors said recent evidence showed the current training arrangements were failing rural and regional communities, and the Government had missed the opportunity to improve the supply of GPs and specialists in rural and regional Australia.
"Only last month, Rural Health Workforce Australia reported that 'less than 5 per cent of [Australian medical] graduates intend to practise in rural areas [as GPs]'," Professor Vann said.
See more at: http://news.csu.edu.au/latest-news/science/rural-health-care-overlooked-again
More than $960 million in savings was announced in a rationalisation of some health programs. Just under $600 million of that comes from the department's "flexible funds".
Australian Medical Association president Dr Brian Owler said important organisations funded through the grants needed to plan for their future and continue their important work.
"There is a lot of uncertainty as to whether those programs, those important organisations such as Palliative Care Australia, Alzheimers Australia, the Foundation for Alcohol Research Education and many other non-government organisations are going to continued to be funded," he said.
See more at: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-05-13/doctors-say-health-funding-cuts-could-hit-crucial-services/6467392
Tuesday, 12 May 2015
The taskforce has begun consultations and has met with regional health organisations.
Professor Richard Murray is the Dean of the College of Medicine at James Cook University and a member of the taskforce. He has told Lindy Kerin health workers have reported feeling ill equipped to deal with the problem.
RICHARD MURRAY: Ice is a highly addictive substance. It's becoming increasingly available all around the country, but including in regional areas, relatively easy to get hold of, in many places quite effective it would seem systems of distribution.
Read more at: http://www.abc.net.au/am/content/2015/s4233890.htm
Prime Minister Tony Abbott recently provoked furious debate by describing life in these communities as a "lifestyle choice" and the Commonwealth has withdrawn its funding.
Communities in Western Australia are now facing possible closure, provoking protests around the country. But this Four Corners report confronts the uncomfortable truth about life in these communities.
The Four Corners team travelled across the rugged Kimberley region of Western Australia to visit some of the settlements under threat.
See more at: http://www.abc.net.au/4corners/stories/2015/05/11/4231553.htm
Please see more at: http://www.theland.com.au/news/agriculture/general/healthcare/rates-of-abuse-highest-against-rural-women/2731942.aspx
Monday, 11 May 2015
"It's rather scary. You lose all contact with the reality of things," Mr Bell said. The 46-year-old has lived with schizophrenia for about 14 years, which included debilitating periods of psychosis.
Mr Bell is one of 230,000 Australians with the illness, though psychiatrists think many people hide the illness.
Schizophrenia attacks the prefrontal cortex of the brain, which psychiatrist Dr Robert Parker said essentially means it undermines a person's ability to perceive reality and solve problems.
Wednesday, 6 May 2015
The manager of the Warruwi Gambling Help program Ashley Gordon said it’s important for Orange’s health, housing and welfare sectors to work together to address the problem and look for solutions.
Mr Gordon said the state government funded Warruwi Gambling Help program focuses on around 30 Aboriginal communities a year, with Orange one of the cities it will focus on over the next 12 months.
See more at: http://www.centralwesterndaily.com.au/story/3057904/new-program-helps-aboriginal-people-give-gambling-the-punt/?cs=103
Kerrie Keepa met with Health Minister Cameron Dick on Tuesday to call for an urgent upgrade in training for hospital accident and emergency staff.
"I honestly do appreciate that emergency departments in hospitals are resource and time poor. But the staff need to receive specialised training and support on how to recognise and respond to 'at risk' patients of suicide if we are to reduce the loss of precious lives."
She said she received a favourable hearing for her request for training for emergency department staff from Mr Dick, who on Saturday announced a three-month review of Queensland's Mental Health Act.
See more at: http://www.smh.com.au/queensland/mother-touched-four-times-by-suicide-given-mental-health-review-role-20150506-gguukf.html
Friday, 1 May 2015
The new website features a host of resources including videos from leading practitioners and researchers, symptom checklists, fact sheets that have been translated into 22 different languages, and a comprehensive guide to getting help for anxiety.
“Understanding Anxiety is a repository of important and helpful information for people living with anxiety disorders, from recognising the symptoms to finding the right help to manage it effectively,” Commissioner John Feneley said.
Please see more at the following link: http://nswmentalhealthcommission.com.au/news/our-news/new-website-to-help-in-understanding-anxiety