Tasmania’s youth suicide rate highest in the country.

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Tasmania’s youth suicide rate has become the highest in the country, with youth workers blaming improperly targeted services and poor social indicators.

Key points:

  • Australian Youth Development Index shows Tasmanian statistics worsening
  • Youth suicide rate 45 per 100,000 population each year
  • Lack of targeted rural services a big problem say advocates

The Australian Youth Development Index examined the lives of young Australians, in particular their education, employment and mental health, over 10 years.

It found while the rest of the country saw improvements overall, Tasmania went backwards.

Last year in the state for every 100,000 people in the state 45 young people took their own lives, the highest per population in Australia.

Rural Alive and Well CEO Liz Little said the figures reflected the state’s social problems.

“Better mental health better education, better nutrition, more stable housing, positive family relationships employment, all of those things, we’re not doing well on improving those things,” she said.

Brett Maryniack is on the board of the Youth Network of Tasmania and was not surprised by the latest analysis on the health and wellbeing of the state’s youth.

He said many young people he had encountered suffered depression.

A lack of targeted services for rural and regional youth is considered problematic.

A lack of targeted services for rural and regional youth is considered problematiad encountered suffered depression.

“Mental health issues are a huge problem in Tasmania, and the stigma is still around it, and there’s still been very little work done to undermine [the stigma],” Mr Maryniack said.

He was inspired to become an advocate for youth issues, after finding difficulty himself gaining employment in Tasmania.

Youth Network of Tasmania chair Ann Davie said residents outside of the major cities needed mental health programs tailored to their individual areas.

“We are a very regionalised state so again there are some pockets that are missing out, and I think that’s again getting back to the statistics,” she said.

Ms Little agreed more research was needed to figure what works best in the bush.

“We know that people in rural communities who have the highest rates of suicide have the most difficulty in going to services,” she said.

“One they can’t find them, and two when they do find them they don’t feel comfortable finding and attending them.”

Mental Health Council of Tasmania CEO Connie Digolis said more data was needed to create better programs for schools.

“What we’ve been missing is knowing who’s doing what where? So what’s happening in our schools and our communities to target suicide prevention,” she said.

“When we can actually see a decrease in lives lost in Tasmania to suicide then we’ll know we’ve been doing more than we have been doing and that we’re getting towards doing enough,” Ms Digolis said.

In a statement, the State Government said it has a long term plan to address the problem and has initiatives on suicide prevention and youth suicide.

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Wrap Up – 17th International Mental Health Conference

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After welcoming people from 12 countries including USA, UK, Canada, Netherlands, Israel and South Korea, the 17th International Mental Health Conference ended last week with our delegates feeling inspired that although there are many challenges, the changes occurring within the sector will be supported with positive guidance.

Tom Brideson, Executive Group Member, National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Leadership in Mental Health noted to all the delegates in our closing session that for the indigenous community ‘change continues as a compelling fact in history for us’ and so the change continues.

Held at the Sea World Resort Conference Centre on the Gold Coast, Qld the 2016 conference brought together leading clinical practitioners, academics, service providers and mental health experts to deliberate and discuss Mental Health issues not only within Australia and New Zealand, but also on an international scale.

The conference was opened by Frank Quinlan, CEO Mental Health Australia and David Butt, CEO National Mental Health Commission who both outlined the key areas of change including the role of the PHNs, e-health, NDIS, stepped care, suicide prevention, childhood mental health pathways and the integration of youth mental health services as well as services for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community.

Although the 5th National Mental Health Plan was considered elusive, our keynote speakers were able to provide valuable information on suicide prevention, improving the mental health of vulnerable young people and taking a healthy lifestyle approach to living well with mental illness. Dr Louise Byrne closed the conference with a focus on the value of the lived experience and recovery.

With nine keynotes speakers, over 80 concurrent presentations, workshops, panels and poster presentations the conference received very positive feedback from the over 400 people who attended. The Book of Proceedings and podcasts will be available to all delegates.

A special thank you to this year’s keynote speakers:

  • Mr Frank Quinlan,
    CEO, Mental Health Australia
  • Mr David Butt,
    CEO, National Mental Health Commission
  • Ms Sue Murray,
    Chief Executive Officer, Suicide Prevention Australia
  • Professor Amanda Baker,
    Co-Director, Centre of Research Excellence in Mental Health and Substance Abuse, University of Newcastle
  • Mr Tom Brideson,
    Member, Executive Group, National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Leadership in Mental Health
    Chair, Management Committee, The Mental Health Services (TheMHS) Learning Network
  • Dr Louise Byrne,
    Lecturer, University Central Queensland
  • Professor Helen Herrman,
    Professor of Psychiatry, Orygen, The National Centre of Excellence in Youth Mental Health, and Centre for Youth Mental Health, The University of Melbourne, Director, WHO Collaborating Centre in Mental Health Melbourne, President Elect, World Psychiatric Association
  • A/Prof Peter McGeorge,
    Director Inner City Health, Clinical Director Mental & Homeless Health Services, Integrated Care Clinical Stream, St Vincents Health Network (Sydney)
  • Ms Mary O’Hagan,
    Mental Health Entrepreneur and  Former NZ Mental Health Commissioner

We would like to thank everyone who attended the 17th International Mental Health Conference and we hope to see you again in 2017.

 

11 Habits That Could Be Increasing Your Anxiety

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The annoying thing about anxiety is it can have a million and one causes — mental conditions, physical conditions, stress, side effects from drugs. The list goes on and on. But sometimes, all it takes is a seemingly innocent habit to make anxiety worse.

This isn’t great news if you have anxiety and do everything in your power to keep it under control. Maybe you are all about meditation, or do yoga on the regular. Maybe you chat with a therapist, or are super diligent about taking anxiety medication. So how perfectly annoying is that your daily habits can kind of undo all that hard work? Pretty annoying, if you ask me.

Now, I’m not saying your daily habits cause anxiety, per se. I’m just talking about little things (like whether or not you drink coffee), that can bring on the nerves, the jitters, and the stress — all things you don’t want if you suffer with anxiety.

There is good news, however. As with all habits, you can change your ways and thusly tone down your anxiety. It just takes recognizing what things can make anxiety worse, and then working to eliminate them from your life. Read on for some of these sneaky, sneaky anxiety-inducing habits.

1. Staying Inside All Day

2. Hanging Out With Anxious Types

3. Running Behind Schedule

4. Living In The Coffee Shop

5. Getting Overwhelmed At Work

6 Eating An Abundance Of Sugar

7. Listening To Sad Music

8. Not Getting Enough Sleep

9. Complaining All Day Long

10. Forgetting To Exercise

11. Not Cleaning Your Apartment

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Aussie man goes viral in fight against FIFO suicides.

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An Australian worker has gone viral on Facebook fighting to put a stop to the high rates of long-distance workers committing suicide.

Mario Prusac is the founder of Mind Over FIFO, which is a community created for long-distance workers battling high levels of stress.

Fly-in fly-out (FIFO) workers suffer from depression at more than twice the rate of the general Australian population, research from Edith Cowan University has found.

Fly-in fly-out (FIFO) workers

Researchers surveyed 629 WA FIFO workers and found that 28 per cent exhibited significant signs of depression, compared to just 13 per cent of the general population.

FIFO workers also exhibited higher rates of stress and anxiety than the general population and non-FIFO mining workers who live in remote and rural areas.

Mr Prusac has gone to social media in protest to put a stop to these terrifying high rates of men taking their own lives.

The young man’s journey began almost five and a half years ago when he was working away from home in construction making loathes of cash.

But after paying off two homes, Mr Prusac said he became “miserable and depressed” and had no idea who he was or what he wanted in life.

The entrepreneur went on to became a Master NLP Practitioner, Master NLP Coach, Master Time Line Therapy Practitioner and Master Hypnotherapist and changed his life.

Mr Prusac is now helping FIFO and ex-FIFO workers to take control again of their mind and lives so they can “feel free again”.

The mind coach has made a viral video outlining the importance of “strong family community” within the FIFO society.

“FIFO can take lives and destroy families and relationships,” he says.

“Yeah, we can put down our tools and show respect and support when a co-worker dies, but really it isn’t good enough.”

He speaks of the strong community among FIFO workers, but insists they should be supporting each other out of work also.

Mr Prusac is encouraging the FIFO community to support each other in and out of work and to not “bottle up” their feelings and emotions.

Read more.

 

 

More mental health support desperately needed in rural areas.

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An outpouring of support has been shown for a mother who keeps her 16-year old daughter in a “safe room”, with the latest reports indicating the daughter is currently in hospital after threatening her family with a knife.

Stephanie lives in rural NSW with two siblings and her mother Emma Parrey, who told Today Tonight Adelaide recently that she has to lock her daughter in a plywood-lined bedroom each night to protect the rest of the family and Stephanie herself.

Stephanie was sexually abused as a child and began cutting herself when she started high school. This only got worse, and when asked how many times Stephanie has tried to kill herself, Emma estimates about 12.

She admits that “before I lived this day-in, day-out, if I had seen this I would’ve probably thought it was atrocious”. But now, she says she feels it’s atrocious that she has to do this to keep her child safe.

According to Today Tonight, the nearest psychiatric services are about two hours away from where the family lives, and according to Emma, Stephanie needs “more intensive help”.

“Seeing a psychiatrist and a psychologist just once a week, it’s not helping. She needs daily therapy to get to the bottom of it.”

Around the same time the news report was shown, a Facebook page was set up to “get help for this struggling family doing there [sic] best to provide support to their daughter all while on a ‘waiting list’ for specialised mental health” services.

The #fightforsteph Facebook page has, for the most part, seen a lot of support. One Facebook user says the mother is “doing an amazing job for your family”, while another says: “You are an amazing mum & the strength your [sic] showing not only within yourself but for your daughter & other children is proof that you can fight thru [sic] the worst times in life”.

Others discuss the lack of mental health services in rural NSW.

Then on 1 August, a post claimed Stephanie tried killing herself again and forced her family at knife-point to lock themselves in a room. Audio was released of Stephanie threatening her family.

Today Tonight Adelaide reported the news, adding the family has received no help since its news report at the end of July.

As of 14 August, Stephanie remains in hospital.

If you or anyone you know needs support you can contact Lifeline on 13 11 14

Suicide rate for young Indigenous men highest in world

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The rate of suicide among young Indigenous men is the highest in the world, according to a new report highlighting the challenges facing young Australians.

The first ever Australian Youth Development Index (YDI) was compiled as part of International Youth Day.

The index helps formulate youth development policy in the domains of education, health and wellbeing, employment as well as political and civic participation, measured across 16 key indicators.

It rates a state or territory’s performance with a score between zero and one, with one being a perfect score.

Among the reports findings were alarming statistics on youth suicide, which showed Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men between 25 and 29 had the highest suicide rates in the entire world.

The index found Tasmania and Queensland recorded an increase in suicide rates despite national rates remaining steady.

Health and wellbeing registered the most significant deterioration over a 10-year period, with the index’s authors attributing that to mental health issues and the increasing use of alcohol and other drugs.

Advocates say the report shows Australia is failing its Indigenous young people.

Advocates say the report shows Australia is failing its Indigenous young people.

Overall, the Australian Capital Territory had the highest YDI score at 0.851, while the Northern Territory had the lowest score at 0.254.

Research finds youth are struggling to gain employment

The report also found employment opportunities for young people had declined in every state and territory, with the NT recording a drop of 80 per cent since 2006.

It also found that in all states and territories, the percentage of young people not engaged in education, employment or training was significantly higher for rural youth than for those in the cities.

The index took information from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, including census data, as well as figures from health and education departments, such as NAPLAN data.

The report also found that despite a high level of youth development in Australia compared to other nations, there were gaps at a regional level, between city and country and Indigenous and non-Indigenous youth.

It also found that many important youth issues were not measured by data or were measured but those figures were not readily available or comprehensive enough for analysis by indexes such as the YDI.

Nonetheless, in a global context, Australia’s YDI was considered “very high”.

The report also found that Australia had improved in all domains except youth health and wellbeing, where it had gone backwards, against the global trend.

The report said the Northern Territory had the highest proportion of young people in its population out of any state or territory — around one in every three people — but had managed to register the biggest improvement in its performance over the 10-year period, with a 30 per cent increase in its overall YDI score.

If you or anyone you know needs help:

Read more.

10 Things Everyone Should Know About Depression

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It’s been two years since beloved actor Robin Williams died by suicide, and one major legacy of his passing has been a continued conversation about the serious effects of psychological and neurological disorders.

U.S. actor Robin Williams poses for photographers during a photo call in Rome November 15, 2005. Williams is in Italy to promote his latest movie 'The Big White', opening on November 18. REUTERS/Alessia Pierdomenico

U.S. actor Robin Williams poses for photographers during a photo call in Rome November 15, 2005. Williams is in Italy to promote his latest movie ‘The Big White’, opening on November 18. REUTERS/Alessia Pierdomenico

While we’ll never know what factors and conditions led to Williams’ death, he suffered from Lewy body dementia, a brain condition that can cause hallucinations and mood changes, among other symptoms. But it was his experience with depression that really resonated with fans and the entertainment community who still mourn his death.

While every person with depression goes through it differently, there are a few universal truths that can lead to a better understanding of the disorder. Below are a few things everyone should know about this mental health condition:

1. Depression could be genetic.

2. It’s a physical illness.

3. Scientists are continually finding new, promising treatments.

4. Depression is common.

5. It can seriously affect a person’s work.

6. It doesn’t discriminate.

7. Depression is highly stigmatized.

8. Many people don’t speak up when they’re going through it.

9. At its worst, it can lead to suicide.

10. Depression doesn’t define a person.

Mental health conditions are manageable with the right treatment. It’s possible to live a happy, healthy and fulfilling life despite having depression. Period.

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At the mental health coalface

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As key meeting places in rural areas, saleyards can provide a wonderful forum for people to meet and potentially start conversations about the particular mental health challenges their communities face.

Centre for Rural and Remote Mental Health's executive manager of programs and services Trevor Hazell - 'In some parts of rural Australia there’s no access to mental health services, so our staff try to make themselves available.'

Centre for Rural and Remote Mental Health’s executive manager of programs and services Trevor Hazell

That’s why ALMA chairman Steve Loan said the presentation from Trevor Hazell, who oversees the Rural Adversity Mental Health Program, was “…one of the most important speeches we’ve ever had at a conference”.

Mr Loan said his community of Coonabarabran, NSW, had struggled with five known related deaths by suicide following the area’s “devastating” bushfires in 2013, on top of drought.

Mr Hazell said Local Land Services in NSW had engaged the Centre for Rural and Remote Mental Health, based at Orange NSW, to develop a program for its staff members.

Mr Hazell and his team worked with the services to develop a two-tier training program.

The first tier is for staff who don’t necessarily need to have difficult conversations with farmers but need information about what mental health illness looks like and how you might help them by finding support services.

The second tier of training is for staff more likely to have difficult conversations with farmers, so it might be those working through farmers’ compliance responsibilities or those advising farmers on future planting or grazing.

Mr Hazell said the three-hour session went into more details on ways to deal with those situations, including the communication skills to deliver bad news and how to listen to the reaction and not just step back.

He said bad reactions were usually “loaded up” with other stressors. Mr Hazell said participants were trained in how to connect people to support services and encouraging them to share their burdens with family and friends.

In most cases, that included getting someone to see a GP and in more urgent situations, calling state emergency mental health numbers or 000. “In some parts of rural Australia there’s no access to mental health services, so our staff try to make themselves available to overcome that lack of service provision.”

Mr Hazell said the program in NSW had worked with AMLA to advertise availability of the Rural Adversity Mental Health Program training.

Read more.

 

Conference Program Booklet available now

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Conference Program

Conference Program 2016 has 9 keynotes and 80+ concurrent sessions as well as case studies, workshops, panel discussions and poster presentations

Conference Program – With just 7 days to go until The 17th International Mental Health Conference; Guiding the Change there is still time to register to attend the Conference.

The Conference Program Booklet is now available so you can see the diverse line-up of international speakers across a broad range of mental health topics. To view The Program Booklet CLICK HERE.

The Conference hosted by the The Australian & New Zealand Mental Health Association, a ‘not-for-profit’ organisation. will be held at the brand new Sea World Resort Conference Centre on the Gold Coast, from the 11 -12 August 2016. To register your attendance at the conference CLICK HERE.

The Conference theme ‘Guiding the change’ addresses prevention, treatment and recovery across a broad spectrum of mental disorders and explored will be new innovative ideas and ways to guide the change.

With 9 keynotes and 80+ concurrent sessions as well as case studies, workshops, panel discussions and poster presentations, the Conference offers a collaborative platform of discussion on an international scale.

Topics that will be addressed include; Indigenous Wellbeing, Self-Harm, Suicide and Survival and creating Workplaces that are Healthy, Productive and Enhance Recovery.

Other topics of discussion include; The Importance of Mental Health Carers, e-health, Innovative Uses of Technology and Social Media, Research, Education and Case Studies, Clinical Disorder Updates and looking at The Journey of Life From Childhood through to Adolescense and Adulthood.

Conference Program Keynote Speakers

There will be an international line up of Keynote Speakers including; Professor Amanda Baker, Co-Director, Centre of Research Excellence in Mental Health and Substance Abuse, University of Newcastle who will present on ’Taking a Healthy Lifestyles Approach to Substance Use Among People Living With Mental Ill Health’.

Mr Tom Brideson, Member, Executive Group, National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Leadership in Mental Health, Chair, Management Committee, The Mental Health Services (TheMHS) Learning Network will present ‘The Secret Reflection is Vague in the Mirror’ addressing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mental health and social and emotional wellbeing which remains one of the biggest challenges within and beyond the mental health system.

Mr David Butt, CEO, National Mental Health Commission will be speaking on; ‘Consensus statement on identification and care for the physical health of people with a mental illness’ and Dr Louise Byrne, Lecturer, Lived Experience Mental Health, University Central Queensland will explore this in her presentation ‘Lived Experience Leadership, the Heart and Soul of Recovery’.

Professor Helen Herrman, Professor of Psychiatry, Orygen, The National Centre of Excellence in Youth Mental Health, and Centre for Youth Mental Health, The University of Melbourne, Director, WHO Collaborating Centre in Mental Health Melbourne, President Elect, World Psychiatric Association will speak on ‘Improving the Mental Health of Vulnerable Young People Removed From Their Families’.

Recommendations for achieving integrated, recovery oriented mental health care in Australasia will be made by Associate Prof Peter McGeorge, Director Inner City Health, Clinical Director Mental & Homeless Health Services, Integrated Care Clinical Stream, St Vincents Health Network (Sydney) who will present on Integrated Mental Health Care – Challenges and Possibilities’.

Ms Sue Murray, Chief Executive Officer, Suicide Prevention Australia will be presenting ‘Towards a National Suicide Prevention Strategy’ and Ms Mary O’Hagan, Mental Health Entrepreneur and  Former NZ Mental Health Commissioner will present on ‘System transformation – The Alien Report: Mental Health on Planet Earth’ exploring recommendations for system change.

Mr Frank Quinlan, CEO, Mental Health Australia will be presenting ‘Mental Health in Australia – Where we are, how we got here, and where we need to go’. Mr Quinlan will discuss reforms such as the National Disability Insurance Scheme; Primary Health Networks; Health Care Home; and, the Digital Gateway for mental health all have the potential to transform support for people who experience mental illness.

This conference brings together leading clinical practitioners, academics, service providers and mental health experts to deliberate and discuss Mental Health issues confronting Australia and New Zealand.

The conference program will be designed to challenge, inspire, demonstrate and encourage participants while facilitating discussion. To view the Program CLICK HERE.

eHealth stream welcomes Eitan Ben Itzhak Klutch

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ehealth Eitan Ben

eHealth – Eitan Ben Itzhak Klutch will speak about eHealth Program Makshivim Net

eHealth: We are pleased to announce Mr Eitan Ben Itzhak Klutch, CEO, Makshivim Net, Israel as a Speaker at The 17th International Mental Health Conference; Guiding the Change to be held at Sea World Resort Conference Centre, Gold Coast, next week 11 -12 August 2016.

Eitan Ben Itzhak Klutch will present ‘What Tech is For?’ in the ehealth Innovative Uses of Technology and Social Media stream.

Makshivim Net was established in 2008 and runs online programs for mental health clients.

The supporters in e-recovery programs aid in everyday life. The goal of these programs is to allow people with mental disabilities to consult with professionals, other disabled, families of people with mental disabilities and to obtain information. Through our work we discovered that despite the developing internet, many find it difficult to cultivate a social circle in the physical world and online. Hence, we established a virtual social model that begins online with the objective to evolve into real life social contact between participants.

It is important to know e-recovery models can have complications and dangerous situations that need to be considered. It’s imperative to be aware and able to handle these complications and dangers before working online.

The employment domain is similarly important, so that clients can enter the normal working world and integrate into society. We developed programs that combine technological and human guidance to help in the employment process, from job search to preservation of long-term employment. One program’s for people with an academic diploma / professional with the objective to integrate them into their field of study. This model helped to integrate of 82 % of clients in 2015.

Internet communications give support that includes: continuous personal contact, accessibility and availability, characterized by the partnership process.  It offers comfort and encouragement, while maintaining the independence that accompanies the client in their employment. It also provides e-peer support from other clients.

eHealth: About Eitan Ben Itzhak Klutch

In 2005, while completing his M.A Degree, he developed a new internet rehabilitation program for individuals who deal with mental health disabilities called Listeners. The Israeli government sponsored the program. In 2008 he founded a company that creates an internet rehabilitation project that deals with social, vocational and educational rehabilitation for individuals and groups online.

Since 2008 Eitan has worked as a CEO at Makshivim Net and lecturing at International Mental Health conferences and universities (at: England, Finland, Denmark, Canada and more), about rehabilitation through the internet. From 2010 to 2011: Consulted for rehabilitation staff at “Montage Support Services” in Canada for half a year in person and half a year through the internet.

eHealth and a wide range of mental health topics will be discussed next week at The 17th International Mental Health Conference; Guiding the Change at Sea World Resort Conference Centre on the Gold Coast, from the 11 -12 August 2016. To register your attendance at the conference CLICK HERE.

The conference program will be designed to challenge, inspire, demonstrate and encourage participants while facilitating discussion. To view the Program CLICK HERE.