Therapy Has Different Forms Than Chatting in a Room

Psychologist Maz Miller used to prescribe fresh air and exercise to her patients all the time, until one day she got tired of talking about it. Frustrated with the limitations of her office, she got up mid-session and took her client out for a walk. “I could tell there was something different,” she says. “The client seemed to open up a lot more; the whole session was flowing.” The results …

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How People With Mental Illness Can Weather-Proof Finances for Bumpy Spending Patterns

Melbourne street artist Akemi Ito* once maxed out a credit card in a single day buying $3500 of homewares online. “Back then I could get credit cards,” he says of the time in the late 1990s. “Now my credit history is so appalling I can’t get credit cards.” As someone living with bipolar, the 39 year-old’s spending spree arose out of a manic episode. More recently, his manic episodes have led …

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How Better Designed Therapy Spaces Could Improve Mental Health Treatment

The buildings we inhabit can change the way we feel. That’s particularly relevant when designing mental health spaces, and yet there are no real guidelines that cover this field. With one in five Australians experiencing a mental illness in any year, a researcher at the Melbourne School of Design says it’s worth considering how to design the spaces in which therapy takes place. Stephanie Liddicoat is nearing the completion of her …

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Medical Staff Mental Illness: Getting Help With No Fear

An expert advisory committee will examine how regulatory bodies can seek to protect patient safety without discouraging health practitioners from taking steps to ensure they are mentally fit to practice. At its latest meeting, the Council of Australian Governments Health Council discussed moves by several states to reconsider the mandatory nature of the notifications process that covers practitioners who may have an impairment. The Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency requires …

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An Outline of Recovery Based, Psychology Focussed Therapeutic Groups in an Inpatient Mental Health Unit

The Adult Mental Health Unit (AMHU) at The Canberra Hospital is an acute inpatient unit that provides treatment for people with severe mental health problems. The 37 bed unit which opened in 2012 is one of the most modern of its kind in Australia. At AMHU treatment consists of a combination of pharmacological and psychosocial interventions based upon a recovery orientated framework that is designed to empower people and instil …

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Rural, Remote and Regional Clinical Supervision Programmes for Youths

Distance supervision:  What does a focussed rural, remote and regional Clinical Supervision Programme contribute to clinical practice within a child and youth mental health setting? From the abstract The presentation will address the structure of the current practice supervision programme and outline the formal and informal links developed by positioning the programme within a major metropolitan CYMHS health district.  The presentation will highlight the additional benefits which augment the individual …

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Cultural Identity and Participation In Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children

The Centre for Rural and Remote Mental Health has reported on the importance of cultural identity and cultural participation as key protective factors essential to the development of strong and resilient Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children. International research shows that cultural programs conducted with Aboriginal young people has led to improved self-esteem, school attendance, school completion rates, reading skills and academic performance. It was these key pieces of research …

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Parenting With a Mental Illness

When you meet 34-year-old mother-of-two Narelle* for the first time, you’re not actually meeting her, but her ‘representative’ as she tells it. “She’s the one who laughs and smiles a lot and says all of the right things so that people walk away thinking what a capable and loving mother she is,” Narelle admits. “It’s not so bad when I only have to endure short interactions, but it makes things …

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Alison Fairleigh Making Inroads Into Rural and Regional General Practitioner Mental Health

Congratulations Alison Fairleigh (Senior Manager – Community Engagement) of selectability on being a recipient of the David Horn Memorial Medal, which was presented to her at the Rural Doctor’s Association of Queensland (RDAQ) 2017 Awards. Alison was recognised for her service to rural medicine. For several years now, Alison has been working with medical students to help prepare them for life in rural Australia, including caring for their own mental health. She …

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Aboriginal Mental Health Workers in Rural NSW

Australia’s rural community mental health (CMH) services face serious workforce shortages. Research specifically investigating factors impacting retention of rural-based CMH health professionals is scarce. This study (part of a larger rural nursing and allied health workforce retention study) identified factors affecting the job satisfaction of Aboriginal mental health workers (AMHWs) working in CMH services in rural NSW. AMHWs are either trainees or graduates of NSW Health’s Aboriginal Mental Health Worker …

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