No 2 Bullying Conference – Abstract and Award Submissions Closing Soon

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Help make a difference.  Be part of this National Conference focusing on key principles and best practice for creating a generational change towards bullying. The 4th Australian No 2 Bullying Conference is an initiative of the Australian & New Zealand Mental Health Association, a non-Government ‘not-for-profit’ organisation.


Abstract submissions are closing 2 Feb 2016. 

Submit your abstract NOW.

Key stream topics include: Schools, Workplace, Cyberbullying, Higher Education, Principle and Practice, Prevention Strategies and Lessons Learnt.




The No 2 Bullying Strategy To Action Awards Recognition aim to recognise and showcase Bullying Prevention and Management approaches in three categories. The STAAR Awards provide an excellent opportunity for recognition of achievement and education to peers of the strategies undertaken within an organisation.

Award winners will be profiled on the conference website and by social media.

The 2016 STAAR Award categories include the following:

  • Stop School Bullying Award
  • Healthier Workplace Award
  • Cyber Smart Award

Who can apply?
The awards are open to organisations across Australia active in anti-bullying education strategies and management programs that aim to address and combat Bullying in schools, workplaces and online.



National No 2 Bullying Conference 2015

Webinar – national approach to mental health services

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Free Webinar – “What will the new national approach to mental health services mean for people in rural and remote areas?”

10.00am-11.00am Eastern Summer Time, Thursday 17 December 2015

In April 2015 the National Mental Health Commission released its National Review of Mental Health Programmes and Services. The review provided “a strong, achievable and practical plan for modernising and reforming Australia’s mental health system and ultimately improving the lives of millions of Australians”.

Last month the Australian Government responded to the Review stating it aimed “to transform Commonwealth mental health funding and leadership over the next three years to achieve a more efficient, integrated and sustainable mental health system and to improve mental health service delivery for Australians”.

What will the changes mean for mental health services and their clients in rural and remote areas? This webinar will see three prominent mental health experts talking about the rural and remote implications of the Government’s intended changes.

Ian Hickie AM, Mental Health Commissioner; Brain and Mind Centre, Sydney University
Frank Quinlan, Chief Executive Officer, Mental Health Australia
Russell Roberts, rural/remote mental health service consultant

To register for the webinar please click on the following link

Violence against women in time of disaster

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Webinar Invitation

Date: Wednesday 16th December 2015
Location: Online, at your computer!
Presenters: Dr Debra Parkinson, Adjunct Research Fellow, Women’s Health in the North (WHIN),
Rachael Mackay, Bsafe Coordinator and Family Violence Training, Women’s Health Goulburn North East (WHGNE) and;
Steve O’Malley, AFSM Leading Fire-fighter, Central District | North West Metro Region, Metropolitan Fire and Emergency Service Board.

What time in your time zone?
NSW, ACT, VIC, TAS: 1:00pm to 1:45pm
QLD: 12:00pm to 12:45pm
WA: 10:00am to 10:45am
NT: 11:30pm to 12:15pm
SA: 12:30pm to 1:15pm

As Australians prepare for the natural disaster season women at risk of or experiencing gendered violence, along with frontline workers who support these women, are being urged to prepare.

Australians have a 1 in 6 estimated lifetime exposure to natural disaster. In the traumatic aftermath of a natural disaster, research indicates the risk of violence against women increases.

Research conducted after Victoria’s deadly Black Saturday bushfires in 2009, showed that before, during and after the disaster, sexual assault, domestic and family violence increased. Some women experienced violence for the first time, while other women experienced an increase in violence or ongoing violence. The findings have been supported by international studies.

Many women experiencing gendered violence in rural and remote areas also face challenges in accessing limited local support services.
1800RESPECT in collaboration with the Gender and Disaster Pod (, experts in the field of violence in times of disaster, have developed resources to assist frontline workers to increase the safety and support of women in times of disaster.

Join this webinar to find out more about this important issue and how to respond.  The webinar will include an insight into research conducted by Women’s Health Goulburn North East (WHGNE) and Monash University’s Injury Research Institute (MIRI), with funding from the National Disaster Resilience Grants Scheme (NDRGS). It will also include an overview of the new 1800RESPECT resources available to assist frontline workers to support women.

Meet the presenters:

smalldp1Dr Debra Parkinson (Adjunct Research Fellow)

Debra Parkinson is Adjunct Research Fellow with Monash Injury Research Institute, and manager of research, advocacy and policy for Women’s Health In the North and Women’s Health Goulburn North East. Over the past two decades, she has researched intimate partner violence and rape, women’s unequal access to the legal system, and gendered discrimination through the superannuation system. Since 2009, her research has focussed on environmental justice and gender and disaster.  In 2015, Debra was awarded the ‘Social and Political Sciences Graduate Research Thesis Award’ from Monash University for her PhD on increased domestic violence after the Victorian ‘Black Saturday’ bushfires.

Rachael Mackay, Bsafe Coordinator and Family Violence Training

Steve O’Malley, AFSM Leading Fire-fighter, Central District | North West Metro Region
Metropolitan Fire and Emergency Services Board

Register: here

Submit your abstract for the National No 2 Bullying Conference

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The theme ‘Creating a generational change towards bullying: principle and practice’ will highlight the importance and impact of learning life skills in younger years to effectively deal with, and combat bullying, enabling the application of these skills into future working life.  The focus is on ‘lessons learned’ as a platform for preventing repeated behaviour while developing ongoing strategies within schools, workplaces and across the sectors.

The Program will feature presentations which are thought-provoking, researched and evidence-based and investigate best practice approaches to generational change.

Changing bullying behaviours takes time, commitment and consistency. Help make a difference by being part of this national conference.

This year’s Conference streams include:

  • Schools;
  • Workplace;
  • Cyberbullying;
  • Higher Education;
  • Principle and Practice;
  • Prevention Strategies;
  • Lessons Learnt and;
  • Open

Presenters have the opportunity to publish their full paper in the Book of Proceedings with an ISBN. Both peer and non-peer reviewed papers are included for international distribution.

To be considered for inclusion in this program, submit your abstract online at:

Submissions must be received by COB Monday 18th January 2016.

More details can be found on the Conference website –

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the conference secretariat.

Conference Secretariat
No 2 Bullying Conference, Gold Coast
18 – 19 April 2016

Secretariat: PO Box 29, Nerang, QLD 4211
Ph: 07 5502 2068   Fax: 07 5527 3298

New FIFO Mental Health Research Released

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Australian Mining

A recently released research paper has shown that levels of depression, anxiety and stress among FIFO workers are higher than those experienced by non-FIFO workers, and that such mental health problems are not determined by demographic differences such as gender or relationship status.

The research carried out by Edith Cowan University researchers Philippa Vojnovic and Susanne Bahn, released earlier this week, found that more than one third of FIFO workers surveyed (36 per cent) experienced depression, anxiety and/or stress symptoms above clinical cut-off levels, while 12 per cent of respondents experienced all three conditions.

In 2007, an Australian Bureau of Statistics survey found that 20 per cent of workers nationally had experienced a mental health disorder in the previous 12 months.

In submissions to a WA parliamentary inquiry last year, government and industry organisations such as the Chamber of Minerals and Energy, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and the Australian Mines and Metals Association argued that the mental health of FIFO workers was no worse than that of the general population within certain demographic risk groups.

The present research showed that this was not the case within the sample group of 629 FIFO workers in Western Australia.

Demographic groupings such as gender and relationship status had little impact on the mental health of respondents.

However, older workers were found to be half as likely to experience symptoms of an adverse mental condition as other workers in the 18-34 years age group.

In addition, workers with tertiary education qualifications were found to be half as likely to experience symptoms of an adverse mental condition as other workers who had only secondary or vocational (TAFE/trade) education.

Vojnovic suggested that the findings should be considered “in context of intervention strategies tailored to target workers”, and that further research was required to determine the effects of FIFO employment conditions (such as high compression rosters) on mental health.

Vojnovic pointed out that positive mental health strategies had been shown to achieve improved productivity, with proven gains of $2.30 to $15.00 for every dollar invested on the mental health of workers.

It was also identified that better levels of mental health in workforces had a positive impact on rates of workplace accidents, absenteeism, bullying, and compensation claims, with annual national costs related to mental health problems of $11 billion presenting “convincing economic arguments” for carrying out mental health improvements in the workforce.

Read more.

Fierce rivals UNSW and University of Sydney team up to improve mental health

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The Sydney Morning Herald

 Professor Ian Jacobs, UNSW's vice-chancellor. Photo: Brendan Esposito

Professor Ian Jacobs, UNSW’s vice-chancellor. Photo: Brendan Esposito

Two of Sydney’s top universities will no longer compete but collaborate to tackle one of Australia’s most devastating health problems – mental illness and addiction.

In a first, Sydney University and UNSW Australia on Thursday announced a partnership across an entire field of research, affecting hundreds of researchers and staff, multiple faculties and research institutions.

It’s also a model for future collaborations, said the vice-chancellors, UNSW’s Professor Ian Jacobs and Sydney’s Professor Michael Spence.

With at least one attempted suicide every 10 minutes, and seven suicides every day in Australia, the two vice-chancellors argue the problem of mental health and addiction is too expensive, too harmful and too pervasive for each university to go it alone.

Estimated to cost around $30 billion a year, nearly half of all Australians experience a mental illness at some stage in their lives.

Every year, one in five adults suffers from anxiety, depression, or a drug or alcohol problem.

Staff from both institutions have already met with the NSW Mental Health Commissioner John Feneley to identify priorities and future research projects.

To the average Australian, the initiative may sound like nothing more than common sense, said Professor Spence. But the rivalry between the two institutions had been legendary, with less collaboration than that seen among Melbourne universities.

 Professor Michael Spence, vice-chancellor of the University Of Sydney. Photo: Brendan Esposito

Professor Michael Spence, vice-chancellor of the University Of Sydney. Photo: Brendan Esposito

“These are universities that have had the Cambridge/Oxford, Harvard /Yale, kind of bitter rivalry,” Professor Spence said.

“It is a tricky kind of thing because a little bit of competition is good, and you wouldn’t want to have one mega university for Sydney because a little bit of polycentricity, a little bit of competition, a little bit of opportunity for people to disagree, spurs innovation,” he said.

UNSW vice-chancellor Ian Jacobs said “the devastating impact” of mental illness and addiction could not be understated.

The new vice-chancellor, Professor Jacobs, had been surprised that a city like Sydney – a global leader in many ways – did not have a university in the top 20 of the world.

He hoped the partnership would create a world class centre of excellence for research.

“We now have within our grasp the potential for major breakthroughs in understanding how these conditions work, and ultimately, the development of treatments to alleviate suffering,” Professor Jacobs said.

The Minister for Medical Research Pru Goward congratulated UNSW Australia and the University of Sydney and said the importance of the historical medical research partnership couldn’t be underestimated.

Read more.

Two in five new parents experience mental health issues, poll finds.

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The Guardian


Two in five parents experienced a mental health issue during or after pregnancy with their first child, according to a survey, which found many are too afraid to seek professional support.

The poll of 2,000 new mothers and fathers, for the Royal College of Nursing (RCN), found that less than half (46%) of those who suffered from anxiety, depression or another mental health issue considered seeking help from a healthcare professional. A quarter of those who did not seek professional support said they were too scared to do so.

The RCN suggests the findings point to an “ongoing stigma” around mental health, which is particularly powerful for parents and is preventing many from getting potentially life-saving support.

The poll results also highlight the lack of support for men, a quarter of whom said they experienced depression or anxiety during or after their partner’s pregnancy. Around two-thirds of men were not asked about their mental health at all during the pregnancy, the survey found.

Carmel Bagness, professional lead for midwifery and women’s health at the RCN, said: “Too many parents worry that going through depression or anxiety means they will be deemed unfit parents, and this can be a hugely damaging and incorrect assumption which is putting lives at risk and preventing people getting the support they deserve.

The YouGov poll found that the majority of people who suffered a mental health issue relied on their partner or other relatives for support. Of those who did not seek professional health, 11% said they did not know that support was available from healthcare staff.

Clare Dolman, acting vice-chair of the Maternal Mental Health Alliance, said the coalition of more than 60 organisations “wholeheartedly endorses the RCN’s call for more training to combat the stigma towards new parents who experience mental health difficulties.

“As a mother who experienced mental illness after the birth of my daughter, I am very aware of how frightening and isolating an experience it can be – and how much it can affect fathers too,” she said. “I have met many women in a similar situation and the vast majority of them recover very well and are excellent parents, but they need the understanding and support of all those around them, not just family and friends but health professionals too.”

Last year the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice) issued guidelines on antenatal and postnatal health, stating that healthcare workers should “recognise that the range and prevalence of anxiety disorders (including generalised anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic disorder, phobias, post-traumatic stress disorder and social anxiety disorder) and depression are under-recognised throughout pregnancy and the postnatal period”.

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Family Drug Treatment Court Pilot Program Established

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The Family Drug Treatment Court (FDTC) has been established as a three year pilot program in the Children’s Court of Victoria. The aim of the Family Drug Treatment Court is to help parents stop using drugs/alcohol and promote family reunification.

The Family Drug Treatment Court is chaired by a Children’s Court magistrate and is supported by a multi-disciplinary team.  The team comprises drug and alcohol clinicians and a dedicated social worker.

The FDTC works with agencies providing services for parents in the program.  They include:

  • Residential treatment
  • Drug and alcohol counselling
  • Mental health counselling
  • Parenting programs
  • Housing programs

Professionals also work with children to help them with the journey to family reunification.

Am I eligible to participate?

To be eligible for the FDTC you must:

  • Have at least one child aged 0-3 years currently in out-of-home care
  • Live in the catchment area of the northern region office of the department of human services
  • Are seeking to have your children returned to your care
  • Are committed to ceasing your drug use and creating a safer, more stable family environment
  • Are willing and able to participate fully in the program (i.e. You do not have any significant physical or mental health issues that may make it difficult for you to participate)
  • Consent to participate fully in the program for 12 months

How does the Family Drug Treatment Court work?

Instead of going through the normal court process, parents assessed as suitable for the Family Drug Treatment Court will enter a 12 month program.

While on the program you will be required to:

  • Attend court regularly
  • Participate in drug testing up to three times per week
  • Attend your treatment appointments which may include residential rehabilitation programs
  • Work toward achieving the goals of your family recovery plan

For more information on the Family Drug Treatment Court you can phone the Senior Clinician via the Broadmeadows Children’s Court registry on (03) 9221 8100.

The Children’s Court of Victoria.

Do one in two Australians suffer from a chronic disease?

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The Conversation

 The federal minister for Health, Sussan Ley, sourced her assertion to AIHW data. LUKAS COCH/AAP

The federal minister for Health, Sussan Ley, sourced her assertion to AIHW data. LUKAS COCH/AAP

With one in two Australians now suffering from a chronic disease, it’s essential we have safety nets designed to protect patients who need ongoing, costly primary care or hospitalisation. – federal health minister, Sussan Ley, press release, October 21, 2015.

According to the Minister’s office, Minister Ley’s comment was based on the chronic disease data released by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) in August this year.

The report looked at eight chronic diseases: arthritis, asthma, back problems, cancer, COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), CVD (cardiovascular disease), diabetes and mental health conditions. Other notable chronic diseases such as kidney disease, oral disease and visual impairment were not included.

The report found that:

Nearly five in ten Australians (46%) have at least one of the eight selected chronic diseases.

What is a chronic disease?

Chronic diseases, also known as non-communicable diseases, are long term health conditions which usually develop slowly and are potentially preventable.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) focuses primarily on four non-communicable diseases – cardiovascular diseases, cancers, chronic respiratory diseases and diabetes because they account for an estimated 56% of global deaths and 82% of non-communicable disease deaths.

The current public consultation draft of Australia’s National Strategic Framework for Chronic Conditions has used the term “chronic conditions” to describe a broad range of chronic and complex health conditions across the spectrum of illness, mental illness and injury in order to move away from a disease-specific approach.

Things could be worse than we think

The AIHW analysis that formed the basis of Ley’s assertion was based on self-reported data. Survey participants responded to questions on whether they had ever been told by a doctor or nurse that they had any of the eight listed health conditions.

The proportion of Australians with a chronic disease varies according to age group. Chronic disease is relatively uncommon in young people and becomes increasingly frequent with increasing age.


The Minister’s statement is generally correct and indeed is likely to be an underestimate. The AIHW analysis suggests that almost half of all Australians have at least one of the eight selected chronic diseases.

It is likely that more than half of all Australians have a chronic disease, if chronic diseases other than those eight are also considered, and more accurate and reliable data such as biomedical testing and medical records are collected and used.

This is a considered analysis. It is concerning that one in two adult Australians have a chronic disease and that this shocking figure is likely to be an underestimate.

Read more.


Australian researchers develop ‘world-first’ guidelines for PTSD

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ABC News

In what has been hailed a “world-first”, a group of Australian clinicians and researchers have developed national guidelines for the treatment and diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder in frontline emergency workers. At least 8,000 police, fire and ambulance officers are believed to be living with post-traumatic stress disorder — or PTSD, as it’s commonly known.

The guidelines’ lead author, Doctor Sam Harvey from University of New South Wales and the Black Dog Institute, said the nature of work in the emergency services meant people were repeatedly exposed to traumatic events.

Key points:

  • Australian researchers developing world-first guidelines to treat PTSD in emergency workers
  • 10pc of emergency workers suffer from PTSD
  • Increased suicide rate in workers with PTSD

“Sometimes that can be a trauma directed at them, such as in a case where a police officer is attacked by someone,” he said.

“But other times — and perhaps more common— it is just them witnessing a traumatic event.

“They often also suffer depression, anxiety disorders and develop substance abuse problems.” Doctor Harvey said increased rates of suicide were seen among emergency workers who developed PTSD.

The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists has independently reviewed and endorsed the new national guidelines. Doctor Harvey said the new guidelines were tailored to emergency workers, to recognise the pattern of symptoms and make an early diagnosis.

The guidelines also explore how to treat PTSD among emergency workers, how to reduce the symptoms and the best ways to ensure the person can be transitioned back to work.

Doctor Harvey said it was difficult for some emergency workers to ask for help because of the stigma associated with mental illness and concerns about the impact on their career.

“It is complicated because the reality is that if they have suffered from PTSD, you often have to remove them from the frontline to be able to treat them.

“But I think having these guidelines will at least allow these people to be on the pathway to the best evidence-based treatment early on… and we know that helps outcomes and we know these treatments are effective with emergency workers.”

PTSD symptoms

  • Re-living trauma: Constant recurring and unwanted memories in the form of vivid images or nightmares, causing sweating or panic
  • Being overly alert or wound up: Causes sleeping difficulties, irritability and lack of concentration
  • Avoiding reminders of the event: Deliberating avoiding places, activities, people or thoughts associated with traumatic event
  • Feeling emotionally numb: Losing interest in day-to-day activities, feeling cut off and detached from friends and family

Source: Beyond Blue

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