Suicide and social media: Youth mental health

Social media has much potential for raising community awareness about the problem of suicide due to the capacity for expression of emotion, care and support for those affected as well as a way of channelling and managing grief. However, it can also increase levels of distress or support negative sub-cultures that promote and support suicide, self-harm and pornography. Young people can be unwittingly preyed upon by those pedalling pornography on …

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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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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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Talk is Cheap: The Role of a Speech Pathologist in Mental Health Services

It has been shown that language (e.g. understanding other people, or expressing yourself effectively), social interaction, and literacy disorders are strongly correlated with behavioural and emotional difficulties, and that often these communication disorders are undiagnosed and untreated. For example, a high profile study in 1996 (Emerson and Enderby) found the prevalence of communication disorders in a mental health service to be 75%. Once in the psychiatric care and/or the criminal …

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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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The Integration of Resolution with Recovery Principles for the Ageing Person

The “Australian National Standards for Mental Health Services 2010”, in conjunction with the “Implementation guidelines for Public Mental Health Services and Private Hospitals” both inform and guide the development and application of appropriate practices across the lifespan. Embedded within these standards are the principles of recovery which include “gaining and retaining hope, understanding of one’s abilities and disabilities, engagement in an active life, personal autonomy, social identity, meaning and purpose …

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Empowering Peer Support Workers in Mental Health Service Delivery

Moving away from a deficits-approach, scholars have described recovery as a journey, in which a person: (1) makes sense of their experience; (2) learns to manage their illness; (3) regains psychological and emotional well-being; and (4) takes on socially valued roles. Some authors argue that recovery is best seen in terms of social interaction. It is suggested that peer support is a key component of recovery as it holds negligible …

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Life values, active procrastination, and psychological wellbeing

Prof Richard Hicks People’s life values are thought to be inherently positive forces for decision making and giving direction to life. Some values may clash with society or workplace environments. But decision making is not always easy in complex and confusing times. This can lead to delay of decision making, or what many people would call procrastination. Procrastination in the workplace and among students is thought to be associated generally …

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‘Surviving and Thriving’ – a new culture in co-location

Who are Stepping Up? Stepping Up is an awarding winning consortium that consists of four not-for-profit agencies: Interact Australia, Odyssey House Victoria, Task Force and Youth Projects who came together to delivery a number of programs including forensic, mental health, alcohol and other drug treatment services. Recently Stepping Up have acquired a new therapeutic counselling service ( x3 locations) that celebrates Psychologists, MSW’s, RN’s Psych and AOD Generalist on an …

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Treatment decision making for young people diagnosed with major depressive disorders: The case for shared decision making

Shared decision making (SDM) is a model of medical or treatment decision making that involves collaboration between a clinician and client. One way of implementing SDM is with the use of decision aids (DA), which have demonstrated effectiveness for non-psychiatric conditions and emerging evidence for adults diagnosed with mental disorders. A theoretical basis for SDM for young people has been made, yet work in this area is in its infancy. …

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