Improving rural mental health support

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Abstracts closing soon – Rural & Remote Mental Health Symposium

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header14The number of Australians experiencing mental health problems in rural and remote areas is estimated to be comparable to major urban centres. However, the rural and remote community faces a greater challenge with limited access to mental health services and support.

The Symposium theme, The Practitioner’s Voice, seeks to give voice to those practitioners who are faced with these challenges on a regular basis. Abstracts are sort for the following streams:

  • The Practitioners Voice
  • Rural and Remote Challenges: resources, professional development, employment
  • Working in Partnerships: practitioners, consumers and carers
  • Recovery Oriented Practice
  • Cultural Engagement: working with Aboriginal people
  • Resilient Communities through Natural Disasters
  • Mental Health Youth Services
  • Suicide Prevention
  • e-Health, Technology and Social Media

Abstract submission closes on Friday August 1st.

submit abstractTo find out more about the conference, visit the website

Culturally responsive frameworks influencing practice and informing our health workforce

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Indigenous Allied Health Australia (IAHA), the national Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander allied health peak body, leads the way in influencing innovative practice and integrative systems approached in their culturally responsive framework for Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander communities, allied health professionals and all health professionals working with these communities.

Successful outcomes for Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander healing practices have often been hindered by limited understanding of cultural worldviews. Particularly, in understanding and incorporating the Social and Emotional Wellbeing (SEWB) framework and holistic case formulation in professional practice.

These key elements are paramount if culturally responsive health care is to be provided. This framework allows mainstream practices to be improved, evaluated, and replicated using culturally responsive variations to existing or proposed programs attempting to address the complex and diverse health needs and outcomes of trauma experienced by individuals and their families.

The development of culturally responsive models of care, which demonstrate successful SEWB healing outcomes when dealing health outcomes for Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander communities, will prove valuable. Such holistic models could influence development of best practice program design and incorporate culturally responsive and coherent guidelines for mental health practice and program development as well as providing beneficial planning data for funding distribution and effective healing outcomes for Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander communities.

In addition, health professionals who are Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, form a pathway or conduit between the knowledge system of their professions, the mainstream health system and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander knowledge systems. No single system is favoured above the other but are equal in their own right and importance, supporting strategies and understanding in providing practice on the ground that is effective and sustainable.

Ms Kelleigh Ryan, Psychologist and IAHA Board Member, Indigenous Allied Health Australia  will give practical examples around how a cultural responsive framework can guide mental health practice when working with the complex health and wellbeing needs of Australia’s first peoples at the 15th International Mental Health Conference will be held at the QT Hotel, Surfers Paradise from Monday 25th to Tuesday 26th August 2014.

15th International Mental Health Conference will be held at the QT Hotel, Surfers Paradise from Monday 25th to Tuesday 26th August 2014.  – See more at: http://anzmh.asn.au/conference/#sthash.xIfHko54.dpuf

A Contributing Life – workforce and specific challenges for regional, rural and remote Australia

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contributinglifeThe focus of the National Mental Health Commission’s national review has been to assess the efficiency and effectiveness of programmes and services in supporting individuals experiencing mental ill health and their families and other support people to lead a contributing life and to engage productively in the community.

One of the terms of reference for the review is to examine mental health workforce development and the specific challenges for regional, rural and remote Australia.  Our work reviewed current local approaches, sought out successful approaches in other health and human service systems, and considered the training, education and recruitment strategies to sustain and promote good practice and flexible workforce models.  In particular, this looked at the development of a peer workforce. Through this analysis we identified the optimal workforce components within mental health services, to propose strategies to respond to new service and support approaches in mental health programmes and services in Australia.  This included responding to new initiatives such as the NDIS.

The issues in rural and remote practice, including recruitment, retention, professional development and support; local integrated models and leveraging e-health and technologies, and the specific issues facing local communities, were all canvassed within the Review to see where the evidence pointed to best practice and the steps needed to implement that. Flexible and emerging service models also need flexible workforces for rural and remote Australia, to ensure we close the service gap between those living in rural Australia and their city cousins.

David Butt, Chief Executive, National Mental Health Commission will present on these challenges at the 6th Australian Rural and Remote Mental Health Symposium from the 12 – 14 November 2014, Commercial Club, Albury, NSW.

Marijuana Addiction

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Some smokers do develop all the symptoms of an actual addiction after chronic marijuana use.

The fact that most users never develop an addiction doesn’t mean that it never happens. Some marijuana users will exhibit all the classic behaviors of someone who has an addiction.
There is a difference between marijuana abuse and marijuana dependence.

Marijuana abuse occurs when someone continues to use the drug despite negative consequences, such as losing a job, poor academic performance or getting arrested. If you continue to smoke marijuana in spite of continued negative consequences, by definition you are a substance abuser.

Classic Addictive Behavior
Someone who becomes addicted or dependent upon marijuana is also an abuser, but will also display some of the classic addictive behavior symptoms:
marjuana addiction

Will begin to lose control, needing increasing larger amounts.
Will spend more time thinking about using.
Will deny claims from those close to him that he has changed.
Substance use will begin to take a central role in life.
Will spend more time and money acquiring more marijuana.
Will become irritable or agitated if they run out of pot.
As negative consequences mount, they will continue to use.

 

If not physically or chemically addicted to marijuana, some users will at the very least develop a psychological dependence upon the drug.

Most experts agree that dependence to a substance is accompanied by a build up of tolerance to that substance, requiring increasing larger amounts, and withdrawal symptoms when someone stops using the substance.

Most early research into marijuana addiction revealed that marijuana use rarely produced tolerance and withdrawal. But the marijuana that is available today is more powerful than the marijuana of the 1960s, containing higher levels of the active ingredient THC.

Today’s research shows that tolerance does develop to THC and that withdrawal symptoms do occur in some users. Studies of chronic marijuana users who quit smoking show that some experience these withdrawal symptoms: •Anxiety and insomnia; Loss of appetite; Excessive salivation; Decreased pulse; Irritability; Increased mood swings; Increase in aggressive; behaviour.

Researchers believe that because today’s pot is much more potent it makes it more likely to develop true addiction in some users.

Treatment for Marijuana Increasing

Whether marijuana has become more addictive or not, the number of people seeking treatment for marijuana abuse has increased significantly. According to studies, the number of children and teenagers in treatment for marijuana dependence and abuse has increased 142% since 1992.

As with most substances of abuse, people who abuse marijuana usually decide to seek help when their use of the drug becomes painful due to the increasing negative consequences. Many who seek treatment for marijuana do so due to pressure from family, friends, schools, employers or the criminal justice system.

National Institute on Drug Abuse. “Marijuana: Facts for Teens.” Accessed April 2009.University of Wisconsin Health Services. “Marijuana: Addiction and Other Issues.”

Marijuana Addiction Treatment and Recovery will be addressed at the Australian and New Zealand Addiction 2015 Conference.

Addiction 2015 will be hosted by the Australian and New Zealand Mental Health Association (ANZMH). The Conference is for Addiction treatment professionals, Drug and Alcohol Workers, mental health professionals, health-care clinicians, researchers and academics. Addiction 2015 will be held on the 5-6 March 2015 at Outriggers Gold Coast. The Call for Abstracts is open and will close on the 21 November 2014. addiction_conference_bannerFor more information visit the website www.addictionaustralia.org.au and contact the secretariat email: secretariat@addictionuaustralia.org.au  Abstracts close: 21st November 2014

An evaluation of the implementation of the Australian ATAPS Suicide Prevention Services

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The Access to Allied Psychological Services (ATAPS) Suicide Prevention initiative is an Australian Government-funded primary mental healthcare initiative providing free or low-cost, intensive psychological intervention for consumers at moderate risk of self-harm or suicide. Using a program logic approach, this paper outlines the findings of a multi-method evaluation aimed at identifying whether the initiative is being implemented as intended; preliminary outcomes of the initiative; and barriers to, and factors that facilitate, implementation.

Analysis of data from the national ATAPS minimum dataset, which contains consumer and session data for the initiative, was conducted to determine uptake and if consumers are experiencing a reduction in distress and suicidal ideation following treatment. Observational comparisons were also made with data from other ATAPS initiatives. Structured telephone interviews with 21 organisations implementing the initiative assessed views on implementation.

The Suicide Prevention Services are generally being implemented as stipulated in the Operational Guidelines. Good relationships with other mental health services and referring GPs was the most commonly cited facilitator of implementation. Barriers varied widely, although organisations with rural and remote catchments noted limited funding and access to professionals, and geographical spread as barriers to implementation. Pre- to post-outcome measure scores demonstrated significant reductions in clinical symptoms and suicidal ideation.

Referrer and consumer uptake of the ATAPS Suicide Prevention Services is high, as is acceptance from organisations involved in its implementation, largely because it fills a service gap for those at moderate risk of self-harm or suicide. With few exceptions, the initiative is being implemented as intended, although some barriers, particularly in rural and remote areas, place limitations on implementation.

Dr Angela Nicholas, Research Fellow, Centre for Mental Health, The University of Melbourne will discuss her research at the 15th International Mental Health Conference to be held at the QT Hotel, Surfers Paradise from Monday 25th to Tuesday 26th August 2014 click here.  Optional workshops will held on Wednesday the 27th of August.

 

Anxiety and addiction

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Anxiety In contrast to fear, which is a response to a realistic immediate danger, anxiety is a fearful response occurring in the absence of a specific danger or real threat.

According to the National Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing, anxiety disorders are the most common form of mental disorder in the population with a one-year prevalence of 9.7% in Australian adults.

Female AddictionThe fear and worry associated with anxiety arises in response to a variety of specific triggers (fear of heights) more general triggers (e.g. crowds, shopping centres, being in trains or buses, meeting new people, or having to speak in public) or sometimes in response to general issues including finances, health or relationships and personal safety.

In some cases, anxiety can arise suddenly and spontaneously without a identifiable trigger, as is the case with panic disorder.

People with anxiety may find it hard to relax, concentrate and sleep, and may suffer physical symptoms such as heart palpitations, tension and muscle pain, sweating, hyperventilation, dizziness, faintness, headaches, nausea, indigestion, bowel disturbance and loss of sexual pleasure.

These symptoms are accompanied by changes in thoughts, emotions and behaviour that substantially interfere with the person’s ability to live and work. Read More from the National Drug Strategy

Anxiety Disorders and Addiction

The dual diagnoses (comorbidity, co-occurrence) of a coexisting problems of addiction and mental illness are often hard to treat because of the unstable nature of the individuals involved. Couple that with the fact that drugs and alcohol only make a mental condition worse, and you’ve got a high-risk patient who could easily spiral out of control. This is especially true for those comorbidity patients who suffer from panic disorder, a condition that causes episodes of severe mental distress combined with the physical symptoms of anxiety.

Panic disorder puts the individual on shaky emotional ground, dreading the onset of an attack at any moment. In fact, the fear of having a panic attack is just as debilitating for these patients as the attacks themselves. They often avoid public situations and have difficulty maintaining relationships or holding jobs because of their overwhelming fears. Alcohol or drugs may temporarily relieve the distress of panic disorder, but ultimately these substances only intensify the symptoms of anxiety.

Anxiety Disorders, Mental Disorders and Addiction treatment will be addressed at the Australian and New Zealand Addiction 2015 Conference.

Addiction 2015 will be hosted by the Australian and New Zealand Mental Health Association (ANZMH). The Conference is for Addiction treatment professionals, Drug and Alcohol Workers, mental health professionals, health-care clinicians, researchers and academics. Addiction 2015 will be held on the 5-6 March 2015 at Outriggers Gold Coast.

addiction_conference_bannerFor more information visit the website www.addictionaustralia.org.au and contact the secretariat email: secretariat@addictionuaustralia.org.au  Abstracts close: 21st November 2014

The headspace best practice framework

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Mr Nic Telford, Evaluation Manager, headspace will provide an overview of the research, outline the best practice framework and demonstrate how these principles are being practically implemented across headspace centres to improve practice and increase the accessibility, acceptability, appropriateness and sustainability of services provided to young people and its implications for the wider service system at the upcoming 15th International Mental Health Conference.

headspace National Youth Mental Health Foundation is the Australian Government’s major investment in the area of youth mental health. headspace commenced in 2006 as a response to the mismatch between the level of need and mental health service use among young people and has since provided services to more than 100,000 young people at its 60+ centres across Australia.

The headspace initiative comprises a major reorientation in service mix and funding arrangements for the mental health sector and significant local differences have inevitably led to differences in the focus and priorities across the centres. Recognising this diversity, headspace has recently investigated how the model is being implemented across locations to identify and document the best practice headspace model.

The study involved the development of detailed case studies on ten representative headspace centres through in-depth interviews with centre staff, services users and other stakeholders.

These case studies were analysed alongside available research to inform the development of a framework of elements considered to be best practice for headspace centres. This framework identifies four key outcome areas, along with a set of objectives and implementation indicators which enable the provision of consistent, effective and appropriate service responses for engaging with and meeting the needs of young people across all headspace centres.

The outcomes of this research are now being used to inform development of self-assessment tools, performance indicators and standards for headspace centres and can provide valuable insight into best practice service provision and its practical application across youth focussed services.

 

banner-bg14For more information on the 15th International Mental Health Conference to be held at the QT Hotel, Surfers Paradise from Monday 25th to Tuesday 26th August 2014 click here.  Optional workshops will held on Wednesday the 27th of August.

held at the QT Hotel, Surfers Paradise from Monday 25th to Tuesday 26th August 2014.  Optional workshops will held on Wednesday the 27th of August. – See more at: http://anzmh.asn.au/conference/#sthash.Ym4qJjnp.dpuf

Music Therapy in Addiction Recovery

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 In the treatment of addictions, music has been established as an adjunctive, highly adaptable modality that is valuable in the holistic approach recommended for addictions work (James, 1988a; Treder- Wolff, 1990a). Music therapists with the appropriate knowledge and training in addictions treatment can provide a vital service to this, population and be a valuable addition to the treatment community

In the treatment of addictions, music has been established as an adjunctive, highly adaptable modality that is valuable in the holistic approach recommended for addictions work (James, 1988a; Treder- Wolff, 1990a). Music therapists with the appropriate knowledge and training in addictions treatment can provide a vital service to this, population and be a valuable addition to the treatment community.

Because many researchers emphasize the need to treat the “whole person” as opposed to “their addiction” (see James, 1988a), music therapy is particularly suited to interdisciplinary treatment teams. Considering the diversity of both primary and secondary addiction-related problems, music therapy may meet a wide variety of individual goals. The clients need to explore their feelings and emotions, lack of self-esteem, and inability to appropriately use leisure time, and a loss of group identity, for instance, are all prominent concerns that can be addressed by music therapy.

Patterns of addiction and defense mechanisms can be ameliorated by the creative experience involved in music therapy. Music therapists can use the socializing influence of music, imprinting of social messages reflected in the music, as well as the deeply personal associations to the individual, to educate clients about the substance abuse and promote relation to a group. Music therapy utilizes the power of music to facilitate recognition of a common identity among clients, and recognition of common beliefs and problems, thereby opening pathways for communication necessary for both group interaction and personal change. Skills in relation building, self-expression, creative thinking, communication rather than isolation, and awareness out of denial are important by-products of the music therapy process, and are the cornerstones of health and recovery

Music Therapy Association of British Columbia, Music Therapy Read More

Music Therapy in Addiction

Music Therapy and other Addiction Recovery and Treatment practices will be discussed at the Australian and New Zealand Addiction 2015 Conference.

Addiction 2015 will be hosted by the Australian and New Zealand Mental Health Association (ANZMH). The Conference is for Addiction treatment professionals, Drug and Alcohol Workers, mental health professionals, health-care clinicians, researchers and academics. Addiction 2015 will be held on the 5-6 March 2015 at Outriggers Gold Coast.

For more information visit the website www.addictionaustralia.org.au
Abstracts close: 21st November 2014

Gambling Addiction

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CHRIS Sandow has staged one of the season’s most inspiring fightbacks – and on Sunday the Parramatta halfback bravely opened up for the first time about his gambling addiction.

Admitting gambling was “a big part of NRL culture”, the 25-year-old spoke to Fox Sports’ Matty Johns on Triple M about his problems and how the unwavering support of his mother.
After rising to stardom at South Sydney, the former NRL rookie of the year went to Parramatta on a reported $550,000 a season.

But he admitted he struggled to adjust to NRL life after growing up in the tiny Queensland town of Cherbourg. Sandow said he wasn’t even sure how much money he has wasted.

Asked what type of gambling he was hooked on, Sandow said: “Everything, mate. I just pretty much lost myself.

“It’s a big part of NRL culture, gambling.

Asked how bad his problems got, Sandow told Triple M: “Pretty bad. I was going to training thinking about gambling.

That is when I thought I did have a problem.

“That is why I had to talk to someone about it and that is when I went to rehab (last year). It was really good going there, it opened my eyes.” Read More

Gambling Addiction

Gambling Addiction will be addressed at the Australian and New Zealand Addiction Conference to be held at the Gold Coast Outrigger Surfers Paradise, 5th – 6th March 2015

ADDICTION 2015  – The Australian & New Zealand Addiction Conference

URL: www.addictionaustralia.org.au