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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Gender Diversity in Children: Where Are We?

A visible shift has occurred regarding support for children expressing diversity in gender identity and expression. Some parents are recognising gender diversity as young as age 2 (i.e. that their child’s assigned gender does not match the child’s reality) and are seeking support to raise a healthy and happy child. Research now tells us that the prevalence of gender diversity is around one percent and schools are now recognising the …

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Harvesting Your Health

Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) individuals and communities continue to be a topic of focus in Australia, a nation founded on an identity of immigration. While prevalence of mental illness in these groups mirror those of a white Australian population, those from CALD backgrounds often report higher symptom severity, greater social isolation, a reduction in feelings of community, and are often less likely to be formerly diagnosed. There is a …

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13 Signs of Potential Mental Illness in a Child

Most parents have an instantaneous desire to protect their children. We tend to our children’s needs: If an unexplained rash appears, we see the doctor. If a fever spikes, we see the doctor. If a bone seems injured, we see the doctor. Visible wounds are relatively easy to recognize. It’s different when a child begins having problems at school or with friends, or if he or she becomes uncooperative and has inexplicable outbursts. Such …

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Precarious Work and Health: The Roles of Organisational Justice and Work-Life Conflict

Precarious employment is considered to be a significant determinant of health inequalities worldwide.  However, the factors that influence this relationship require explication. Fairness at work, or organisational justice, is associated with positive health outcomes and has received attention within precariousness research.  Work-life conflict has also been linked to both precariousness and to justice, and may help to explain health outcomes in this context.  This thesis investigated the influence of organisational …

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The Transfer of Information During Clinical Handover

The breakdown in the transfer of information during clinical handover is one of the most important contributing factors in serious adverse events and a major preventable cause of patient harm. In Australia, nursing handover practice in mental health settings has largely adopted Australia National Safety and Quality Health Service Standard 6 which outlines 3 categories: governance and leadership for effective clinical handover, clinical handover processes, and patient and carer involvement …

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Journeys of Rural Mental Health Consumers

‘Let me be the driver’ – I have removed the case’ – journeys of rural mental health consumers Reflecting back to the Mantra on Salt Kingscliff conference – its beautiful location and the topics of presentation, discussions and debate – further reinforces and builds on my thoughts of consumers being the driver of their own care. A number of presentations at the conference followed this theme and as we move …

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Is Increased Mental Illness A Consequence Of Sobriety?

A common theme amongst people recovering from substance addiction is the development of increased mental health issues such as anxiety disorders resulting in a sense of hopelessness and despair. Coupled with this may be a perceived fear of the unknown. For instance, a long term addict recovering from a life of addiction is facing a new life filled with change, modification and variance, contrary to the life that was once …

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Perinatal and Infant Mental Health (PIMH) in Rural and Remote Queensland

Over recent decades, strong evidence has emerged that the foundations for a child’s growth and development are laid in the early years, from conception to around age 3. Perinatal mental health issues (PIMH) can impair a parent’s ability to provide responsive care to their child, and a range of issues can interfere with the development of a secure attachment relationship between parent and infant. Preventing long-term negative impacts on the …

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Calls To Review Antipsychotic Use In Kids

An expert in child psychiatry says no child under the age of six should be prescribed an antipsychotic and would like to see a review of these medications. There are concerns antipsychotic drugs are being overprescribed to children purely as a way of managing problem behaviour, leading to calls for a review of prescription rates in Australia. Professor of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry David Coghill, an honorary fellow at the …

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