Associate Professor Vijaya Manicavasagar to present Keynote at IMHC

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Associate Professor Vijaya Manicavasagar, Director of Psychological Services and Director of the Psychology Clinic, Black Dog Institute, University of New South Wales, BSc. Psyhology (Hons), M Psychology (Hons), PhD to present Keynote at the 16th International Mental Health Conference being held at QT Hotel, Surfers Paradise Thursday 13 August to Friday 14 August 2015.

The Conference will bring 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 theme is Mental Health Future For All with topics across the broad spectrum of mental disorders including Anxiety, Depression, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorders, Bipolar, Dementia and Suicide.

Vijaya ManicavasagarA/Prof Vijaya Manicavasagar is a Senior Clinical Psychologist and Academic within the Black Dog Institute and School of Psychiatry at the University of New South Wales. She currently also holds the position of Clinical Director of the Psychology Clinic which specialises in the psychological treatment of mood disorders including bipolar disorder. The Psychology Clinic offers a range of services including client assessments, individual and group treatments as well as providing expert opinion for psychological impairment. In addition, A/Prof Manicavasagar provides training to intern and registrar psychologists through the Psychology Clinic.

A/Prof Vijaya Manicavasagar’s clinical research interests are in the fields of anxiety and depressive disorders including bipolar disorder. She is the author of several academic publications, book chapters and books in these areas. She has been involved in the development of several online programs including ‘MyCompass’ for self-monitoring and managing mild to moderate psychological problems; ‘Bite Back’ a website which applies positive psychology techniques to improve youth wellbeing; and an app that helps adults discover their core life values (‘Spark’). A/Professor Manicavasagar is also the lead investigator in a series of studies on the development and implementation of wellbeing programs in schools utilising a combination of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy and Positive Psychology.

Link to more on A/Prof Vijaya Manicavasagar’s research

 

Mental health patients facing cuts to crucial services amid funding uncertainty: experts

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Published on ABC Radio Australia, Updated 24 March 2015, 10:50 AEDT by medical reporter Sophie Scott

Thousands of Australians seeking help for mental health problems face growing uncertainty because ongoing federal funding for hundreds of contracts has not been guaranteed after June 30.

Seventy mental health groups, including Mental Health Australia, Headspace, and the Black Dog Institute have written an open letter to Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Health Minister Sussan Ley.

The letter reads: “We have not received any definitive advice regarding the future of programs.”

“Some agencies have indicated that without this advice, they will have to give staff notice of termination of employment in a matter of days.

“This ongoing uncertainty is causing a huge disruption to organisations and increasingly, deep anxiety amongst the people they serve.”

The National Mental Health Commission has completed a major review of the mental health sector, which is currently with Ms Ley but no date has been set for its release.

One provider, the MindSpot Clinic, already told patients free online and telephone support may not be available after April 15 due to funding uncertainty.

MindSpot is a free service for Australian adults with stress, worry, anxiety, low mood or depression.

MindSpot director Professor Nick Titov said the uncertainty is concerning for both staff and patients.

The service has helped 30,000 people and is seeing 300 to 400 new people each week, half of them from rural and regional areas where there are no face-to-face mental health services.

For the full article click here.

To read the Open Letter to Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Health Minister Sussan Ley click here.

Men and suicide: Know the warning signs

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Men who feel suicidal often display distinctive warning signs, offering those closest to them significant opportunities to intervene, a study by UNSW researchers at the Black Dog Institute has found.

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Men who feel suicidal often display distinctive warning signs, offering those closest to them significant opportunities to intervene, a study by UNSW researchers at the Black Dog Institute has found.

The Men’s Experiences with Suicidal Behaviour and Depression Project found there was an urgent need for more and better campaigns to educate the public about the warning signs and how to respond.

Funded by beyondblue and The Movember Foundation, the study was led by UNSW Associate Professor Judy Proudfoot and UNSW Scientia Professor Helen Christensen, chief scientist and director of the Black Dog Institute.

The research was based on face-to-face interviews and online surveys with more than 200 men across Australia who had recently attempted suicide, and 165 friends and families of men who had recently attempted to take their life.

Click here to read full article

Professor Harvey Whiteford and Dr Alize Ferrari to present results of Global Burden of Disease Study 2013

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Professor Harvey Whiteford and Dr Alize Ferrari to present Burden due to mental and substance use disorders: An analysis from the Global Burden of Disease Study 2013 at the 16th International Mental Health Conference being held at QT Hotel, Surfers Paradise Thursday 13 August to Friday 14 August 2015.

The Conference will bring 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 theme is Mental Health Future For All with topics across the broad spectrum of mental disorders including Anxiety, Depression, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorders, Bipolar, Dementia and Suicide.

Abstract Overview

The Global Burden of Disease Study 2010 (GBD 2010), published in 2012, presented the disability and premature mortality from 291 diseases and injuries and 63 risk factors, across 187 countries. It represented the most comprehensive analysis of disease burden since the original burden estimates were published in 1996. Mental and substance use disorders were the leading cause of disability. GBD 2010 findings not only confirmed that mental and substance use disorders were a global health priority but also identified salient gaps in the epidemiological literature. To incorporate the latest advances in psychiatric epidemiology and burden of disease methodology, and to provide policy-makers with the most representative picture of a population’s health, the burden of disease studies are constantly evolving. The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation which led the GBD 2010 is leading the next update of burden estimates (GBD 2013). The Queensland Centre for Mental Health Research is responsible for the data inputs and modelling for the mental and substance use disorder burden estimates. This presentation will discuss the GBD 2013 results, summarising improvements made to the epidemiological datasets and burden estimation methodology. Accurate estimates of disease burden assist in ensuring that health systems are aligned to the population health challenges that confront a country.

Presenter Bios

Prof Harvey WhitefordProfessor Harvey Whiteford is Professor of Psychiatry and Population Health, and Director of the Policy and Epidemiology Group at Queensland Centre for Mental Health Research (QCMHR). He trained in medicine, psychiatry and health policy in Queensland and at Stanford University.

Harvey has held senior clinical and administrative positions, including those of Director of Mental Health in the Queensland and Federal governments in Australia, and with the World Bank in Washington DC. His research interests are in epidemiology, mental health policy and service delivery

 

Dr Alize FerrariDr Alize Ferrari is a research associate for the Psychiatric Epidemiology and Burden of Disease Research (PEABOD) Group based at the Queensland Centre for Mental Health Research (QCMHR). She holds affiliate positions with the School of Public Health at the University of Queensland and the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington.

Her role within PEABOD is to oversee the work undertaken by the group investigating the global epidemiology and burden of mental and substance use disorders.

 

Mental health: People from poor and remote areas miss out on help

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depression-dataThe largest ever study into mental health services in Australia has found that people in poorer areas are missing out on comprehensive care, with many unable to see a psychiatrist or psychologist for help.

Experts say the findings published today in the Medical Journal of Australia show that when it comes to mental health, what matters most is where you live, not how badly you need help.

It comes ahead of the Federal Government’s long awaited release of its mental health review.

Listen to the interview by Medical reporter Sophie Scott below.

Visit the full article here.

DVA puts veterans at ease

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The Department of Veterans Affairs has announced new arrangements designed to make it easier for veterans to access mental health support.

Currently, veterans and eligible current and former members of the Australian Defence Force are able to access treatment for psychiatrically-diagnosed post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and anxiety disorders, whatever the cause.

Under the new regime, known as non-liability health care, there does not have to be any link between the mental health condition and military service for the individual to access these services.

Veterans and eligible current and former members of the Australian Defence Force who are diagnosed with these conditions by vocationally registered general practitioners and clinical psychologists will also be able to access these non-liability health care arrangements.

Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, Michael Ronaldson said extending access to non-liability health care to those who were diagnosed by a GP or psychologist ensures people were given access to these services as quickly as possible.

“Early treatment is vitally important in addressing conditions such as these,” Senator Ronaldson said.

“The Government also previously expanded these services to include treatment for alcohol-use disorder and substance-use disorder and made changes to allow a greater number of people with peacetime service to be eligible for these treatments.”

A psychiatrist’s diagnosis will still be required for compensation claims relating to mental-health conditions.

Further information on mental health support for veterans and their families can be accessed at this link.

Read more by PS News Online, 12 February 2015

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Emerald agencies get together to improve mental health

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People with a mental illness don’t just need services specifically related to mental health, they may also be using other services such as housing, employment, government or even justice.

That’s why it’s important that all of these agencies have an understanding of what each other does so that they can help people more effectively.

Katherine Armstrong is the Partners in Recovery facilitator for Anglicare in Emerald who came up with an idea to get everyone together – she spoke with me about what she has planned…

Listen to the segment with Jacquie Mackay, Breakfast ABC 612 Radio Brisbane 10 February 2015

Mental health funding welcomed

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(via The Land)

NEW funding to boost training on mental health for youth workers in regional and rural areas across the State will improve the lives of thousands of young people across NSW, and likely prevent significant numbers of youth suicides, says the NSW Minister for Mental Health, Jai Rowell.

This week the state government announced it will subside the education of youth workers currently working across regional, rural and remote NSW, so they can undergo the Youth Mental Health First Aid course. The course educates workers on identifying, triaging and referring mental health issues.

Youth Action, the peak body for youth affairs in NSW, has been campaigning for $250,000 in funding for this issue for over a year.

Youth Action’s managing director Katie Acheson said the NSW government’s response was extremely welcome.

“This announcement shows the NSW government has been listening carefully to the voice of youth in regional, rural, and remote areas,” Ms Acheson said.

“There is a genuine mental health crisis in regional NSW.

“Mental illness rates and suicide rates have stayed high over the past 30 years, especially for young men. In some very remote areas, youth suicide rates are six times higher than the state average…

Read more by The Land 6 February 2015

Mental health risks expose companies

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download the 4 page overview (4)Mental health and wellbeing is the number one challenge facing organisations, according to a survey of safety and environmental workers conducted by safesearch.

The survey of 1,200 HSE individuals across 133 organisations is in its ninth year, and compares variations in year-on-year salaries of HSE roles. The survey also asks over 360 senior health and safety leaders a range of qualitative questions on the challenges faced by their organisation.

This year, the qualitative results show the number one emerging challenge faced by organisations was mental health and wellbeing. Eighty-five per cent of respondents said the health and wellbeing strategy is of high or significant importance within their organisations, however only half indicated they have a dedicated health and wellbeing resource.

Julie Honore, safesearch Managing Director, says “The results indicate that respondents are taking a piece meal approach to the health and wellbeing of their workforce. This area has only sat as part of the safety agenda in recent years, so companies and safety professionals are still grappling with this complex topic.

“Areas of particular concern for respondents were stated as psychological illness, mental health, fitness – particularly with an ageing workforce, drug and alcohol use, managing depression and stress management.”

Ms Honore says often a different skill set is required to tackle this issue; and it needs to be addressed strategically rather than having disconnected initiatives in place.

“Organisations that don’t call on relevant experience are exposing themselves to operational, commercial and reputational risks. Many organisations are taking a short sighted approach with ad hoc initiatives, rather than implementing programmes that have been thought through and are connected with the overall business strategy.”
“Forward thinking companies see their health and wellbeing strategy being connected to a more engaged workforce and understand this will result in appropriately managed risks and clear commercial advantage,” she said.

Cara Thiele, General Manager, Health, Safety and Environment, ManpowerGroup ANZ says now more than ever health and safety professionals need to keep abreast of emerging risks that have not traditionally sat as part of the safety portfolio.

“To ensure risks are managed appropriately and to gain traction leaders must know when to access subject matter experts beyond the traditional realm of safety, particularly experts in mental health risk management.”

Source: safesearch health safety and environment remuneration survey 2014/2015

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Prof Tony Jorm, University of Melbourne to Speak at Mental Health Conference

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banner-bg15The 16th International Mental Health Conference will be held at the QT Hotel, Surfers Paradise from 12 – 14 August 2015. The conference theme “Mental Health Future For All” will address the broad spectrum of mental disorders including Anxiety, Depression, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorders, Bipolar, Dementia and Suicide.

The Organising Committee is excited to announce Prof Tony Jorm, Centre for Mental Health, Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, University of Melbourne as a Keynote Speaker for this years conference.

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Prof Tony Jorm, Centre for Mental Health, Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, University of Melbourne

Prof Tony Jorm is a Professorial Fellow at the University of Melbourne and an NHMRC Senior Principal Research Fellow.

His research focuses on building the community’s capacity for prevention and early intervention with mental disorders.

Prof Jorm is the author of 27 books or monographs, over 500 journal articles and over 30 chapters in edited volumes.

He has been awarded a Doctor of Science for his research and elected a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia and is a member of the Research Committee of Australian Rotary Health.

Prof Jorm is a past President of the Australasian Society for Psychiatric Research and has been listed in ISI HighlyCited.com as one of the most cited researchers in Psychology/Psychiatry of the past 20 years.

To register for the conference, please visit www.anzmh.asn.au/conference.