Preparing for environmental adversity in rural Australia: Aligning the Rural Adversity Mental Health Program (RAMHP) with state and national policy

The Drought Mental Health Assistance Package (DMHAP) in NSW was implemented (in 2007) as a response to the observed effects of the ongoing drought on the mental health and wellbeing of rural communities. By early 2010 it was decided to broaden the scope of DMHAP and rename the program to better reflect the range of elements contributing to rural adversity. The Rural Adversity Mental Health Program (RAMHP) has moved beyond …

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Bridging the rural-urban divide for improved mental health

The devaluing of rural Australia as an important contributor to Australia’s social and economic fabric, and the declining profitability of core industries in rural Australia, including an absence of understanding and support for these industries by metropolitan communities and governments, have been identified among the many complex factors attributed to the causation of the high rate of suicide in rural Australia. (SPA Position Statement – Responding to suicide in rural …

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Alcohol and drugs can lead to regrets (PRESS RELEASE Helen Morton: AUGUST 5, 2012)

Helen Morton Minister for Mental Health; Disability ServicesSun 05 August, 2012Portfolio: Mental Health         New cinema and radio ads designed for young Aboriginal people         Campaign focus on impact on the mind, body, law and support New cinema and radio advertisements form part of an innovative campaign to prevent and reduce harm caused by alcohol and other drug (AOD) use among young Aboriginal people. Mental Health Minister Helen Morton said …

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Dual Diagnosis of mental illness (MI) and acquired brain injury (ABI): Making positive changes towards rehabilitation and recovery.

Aims and RationaleThe aim of this exploratory study was twofold. It sought to describe some of the challenges faced by people with dual diagnosis of ABI and MI; and secondly, from these findings make recommendations on service practices and policies that would be required for an effective post discharge rehabilitation and recovery pathway. MethodsThis phenomenological study used in-depth interviews to obtain an insider perspective from eight individuals and/or their families, …

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Depression and Chronic Back Pain

By: William W. Deardorff, PhD, ABPP Depression is by far the most common emotion associated with chronic back pain. The type of depression that often accompanies chronic pain is referred to as major depression or clinical depression. This type of depression goes beyond what would be considered normal sadness or feeling “down for a few days”. The symptoms of a major depression occur daily for at least two weeks and …

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Depression a global problem: It’s not just Westerners who get the blues

Depression and anxiety are found in every society in the world, debunking old theories that only Westerners get depressed. These new findings come from the world’s most comprehensive study of anxiety and depression research to date, published by researchers at The University of Queensland. In two separate studies of anxiety disorders and major depressive disorder (that is, clinical depression) study authors found that surveys of clinical anxiety and depression have …

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Preventing obesity and poor physical health through assessment and ongoing monitoring

Dr Susanne Stanley aims to highlight the poor physical health of the mentally ill, paying particular attention to the high incidence of obesity, which can lead to complications such as type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Whilst obesity is of great concern in the general population, people with a mental illness face additional factors. For example, psychotropic medication effects such as weight gain can lead to obesity in the mentally …

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Australia’s first national e-mental health online portal

Australia’s first national e-mental health online portal has been launched today by the Federal Minister for Mental Health, the Hon Mark Butler MP. Called mindhealthconnect, this government portal will enable instant access to a variety of clinically-endorsed mental health information, support and therapies. As pioneers in the field of eHealth, Black Dog Institute researchers played a key advisory role in the development of mindhealthconnect. “We know that more and more …

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Mental health needs high for indigenous

Michelle Henderson, AAP National Medical Writer Mental health services for Aboriginal people in custody need to be developed urgently, according to a study that found most Queensland indigenous inmates suffered from a mental illness. The Queensland Forensic Mental Health Services study of 419 indigenous men and women from six high-security prisons found that about 73 per cent of men and 86 per cent of women had a mental health disorder. …

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Carer Appraisal Scale – A Carer-Based Assessment of Patient Functioning

Measurement of patient outcomes is an integral part of mental health service evaluation, as well as guiding clinical practice to ensure best outcomes for patients. Despite there existing numerous tools for quantifying patient functioning based on clinician assessments or self-reports, there is a serious paucity of tools available for the carers of patients to appraise their functioning. Collateral information is well recognised as being integral for assessments of patients, but …

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