Prescription for a healthy Australia: Cut salt levels, save thousands of lives

Dramatically cutting salt levels in processed foods sold in Australia could save an estimated 3500 lives each year by reducing cardiovascular disease, stroke and kidney disease, according to a new report. Reducing the population’s salt intake by 30 per cent was among ten policies proposed by the Australian Health Policy Collaboration to reduce the burden of preventable chronic conditions like heart disease, cancer and mental illness, which affect one in two Australians. Under its prescription for a …

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Insurance industry stuck in ‘dark ages’, say mental health advocates

Seventeen-year-old Ella Ingram was beyond excited about her upcoming school trip to New York. Everything was booked, she was ready and raring to go. But then a dark cloud descended. “I just couldn’t feel happy. I was in my room and sleeping a lot, and I just felt so, so low,” she said. “I remember saying to my mum that I felt disconnected from my friends, from my family.” Ella’s …

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How the brain changes in Alzheimer’s disease: a new view

The Conversation Most people have heard of Alzheimer’s disease, the most common form of dementia. The disease has no cure and few, but inefficient, treatments. Despite their best efforts, doctors and researchers still don’t know the sequence of brain changes that causes this debilitating disorder. Our new study challenges a commonly held view of how Alzheimer’s disease develops, and suggests a new clinical angle to reduce its impact. Alzheimer’s disease …

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More Indigenous psychologists needed to address gaps in mental health

In September, the Australian Psychology Society (APS) issued a monumental apology to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People. It was a formal acknowledgment of psychology’s role in their mistreatment, corrosion of culture and loss of identity. “The Apology is an important move in redressing past wrongs, either acts of commission or acts of omission by our discipline and profession,” APS Professor Michael Kyrios and Director, Research School of Psychology says. …

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Australians call for a more accurate visual representation of mental illness

Australia’s national mental health charity, SANE Australia, and Getty Images, the world’s leader in visual communications, partnered together earlier this year in the first national research project into the way mental illness is portrayed visually in Australia. The Picture This survey of more than 5000 Australians – 70% of whom had experienced mental illness – found that the majority of respondents wanted images that place more emphasis on the human …

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Being bullied as a kid makes you twice as likely to be an overweight adult

We know that being called names in the playground takes an enormous toll on your mental health – but it can directly affect your waistline, too. New research from the King’s College, London has found that children who are bullied at school are almost twice as likely to be overweight by the time they hit the age of 18. You might assume that those who were bullied as kids were …

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Mental illness and family access to health information.

Australia’s medical law is based on the principle of autonomy. A person becomes the sole decision maker about their medical treatment when he or she acquires capacity. This is achieved at about the age of 16, although a person may – temporarily or permanently – lose capacity due to mental illness or impairment. The law considers all medical records confidential; and mental health records are particularly sensitive. Under the autonomy …

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How to find a good app for mental health

Search for “stress”, “depression”, “anxiety”, or “mental health” in the app store on your mobile device and you are confronted with a bewildering array of options. Some apps claim to track your mood over time, while others claim to “cure” your mental ill health with hypnosis. Apps hold amazing potential as mental health and wellbeing tools. You can carry them everywhere, engage with them in real time as you’re experiencing …

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Men much less likely to seek mental health help than women

Men are far less likely to seek medical support for a mental health problem than women, new figures reveal. A survey commissioned by the Mental Health Foundation found that not only are men far less likely than women to seek professional support, they are also less likely to disclose a mental health problem to friends and family. The YouGov survey, the largest of its kind, polling more than 2,500 people …

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Aussie men battling depression and anxiety associated with the ‘man-boob’

Despite the recent trend of the ‘dad bod’, more than 30,000 Aussie men battle depression and anxiety associated with the ‘man-boob’. And although many people today struggle saying the ‘L’ word, men are undergoing liposuction now more than ever. Gynecomastia corrective liposuction is a growing procedure for men which reduces the breast size through the removal of excess breast fat. The men opting to have this surgery and who benefit …

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