Homeless mental health at risk
Sam Davis | ABC FNQ | 5 Mar 2013
Last month the Homeless Health Outreach Team was dumped as part of a major restructure to the Cairns and Hinterland Hospital Health Service. The specialist team treated homeless and rough sleepers for disorders like schizophrenia and depression, in some cases finding supported accommodation for at-risk clients.
The Alliance's chairperson Helga Biro says the community sector is worried they will not be able to replace the Outreach team's services. "They provide things we can't," she says. Things like ensuring that services have adequate anti-psychotic medications at hand for high-risk transient clients. "They provide monitoring and primary health interventions. We're talking about clients who have very complex health and wellbeing issues...(read more)
Survey finds gap in mental health services
Daniel Bateman | Townsville Bulletin | Feb 27 2013
NORTH Queenslanders are crying out for better mental health services, according to the results from a major health survey. It comes as research released by the National Mental Health Commission has found Australians feel they lack the most basic knowledge of mental illness, and many don't know a single sign to look out for. Townsville-Mackay Medicare Local has released the preliminary results from an annual survey that sought opinions from health consumers and stakeholders of local health services.
The ongoing survey will allow the organisation to target areas in need of improvement. Public health physician Dr Tracy Cheffins said a majority of the 130 respondents so far had identified mental health as an area with the largest service gap. Other areas in need of improvement included access to specialist care and after-hours doctors. Dr Cheffins said there had also been a larger demand for mental health services...(read more)
Qld Government to outsource some health services
Eric Tlozek, Kirsty Nancarrow and Brad Ryan | ABC News | Feb 27 2013
The State Government has told Queensland Health staff it will outsource parts of the health system. Premier Campbell Newman helped launch the State Government's 'Health Blueprint' in a pre-recorded address to Queensland Health staff.
"It's a bold statement about the future of our health system - nothing is hidden," he said. Health Minister Lawrence Springborg says the Government is repairing the damage of the failed payroll system, budget blowouts and declines in performance. "This blueprint presents new ideas and a much stronger health partnership to defeat the troubles of the past," Mr Springborg said...(read more)
Health cuts hit Cairns homeless
Sam Davis | ABC FNQ | Feb 22 2013
Homelessness services in Cairns have been hit by Queensland Health's latest job cuts with a specialist outreach group to be disbanded as part of the latest restructure. The Homeless Health Outreach Team supports rough sleepers and the long-term homeless providing medical treatment for people with mental illnesses.
The service's loss is part of the Cairns and Hinterland Hospital and Health Board's announcement on Monday that more than 200 staff will lose their jobs. An employee with the outreach team contacted by ABC Far North declined to be interviewed on Thursday night but says staff were "reeling" from the news.
Through the service, clients are treated for disorders such as schizophrenia and depression and are referred to other programs for further assistance. Homelessness services in Cairns have been hit by Queensland Health's latest job cuts with a specialist outreach group to be disbanded as part of the latest restructure...(read on)
Report reveals personal toll on firefighters
Nick McKenzie and Richard Baker | Canberra Times | 18 Feb, 2013
A HIDDEN toll of psychological trauma among Victorian firefighters may be leading to suicide, alcohol abuse and depression. A report by the University of Newcastle's Centre of Full Employment and Equity also reveals firefighters' biggest stress is their role as a first responder to medical emergencies and that some believe they are not getting adequate support.
Monday's release of the report, written by research professor William Mitchell and research fellow Beth Cook and commissioned by the firefighters' union, comes days before the Auditor-General releases a report expected to show high rates of unplanned leave by professional firefighters...(read on)
Are our policies and laws leading to treatment delays for people with schizophrenia?
Author/Editor: Deeble Institute - Ms Sandra L Matheson, Ms Alana M. Shepherd, Prof Vaughan J. Carr, Dr Anne-marie Boxall and Mr Krister H. Partel - Australian Healthcare & Hospital Association | 14 Feb 2013
Under Australian mental health laws, an Obligatory Dangerousness Criterion is used as the means by which patients are assessed for the appropriateness of involuntary (compulsory) treatment.
While developed to balance the rights of the mentally ill with the need to protect the public, some experts have begun to raise questions about its utility. Click on the link to download a free copy of the Deeble Institute Brief.
Revolutionary scan of unborn baby brains hopes to 'trace' mental disorders
Jonathan Leake | The Sunday Times (UK) | 11 Feb, 2013
SCIENTISTS are to scan the brains of 500 unborn babies using a revolutionary imaging technology in an attempt to trace the origins of mental disabilities such as autism, attention deficit disorders and schizophrenia. The team, led by researchers from King's College London, will use a powerful magnetic resonance imaging system to map how brain cells grow and connect.
The system, linked to supercomputers, can "see" into the wombs of pregnant women, taking pictures of their babies' brains even while the fetuses are wriggling around. The aim is to create a diagram of the neural wiring inside the fetal and infant brain. It will show how brain structures such as the cerebral cortex, where thinking occurs, or the hippocampus, which is central to memory, form and are connected. Scientists increasingly believe that tracing such connections holds the key to understanding how the brain works -- and why it goes wrong...(read on)
Mental Health Carers Arafmi Australia (MHCAA) releases new logo
11th February 2013
MHCAA this week unveiled a transformation of its identity through the announcement of a new logo and full rebranding. MHCAA enlisted the help of Out of the Box Design Studio, a Design and Marketing Consultancy. Their pro-bono support was invaluable. Executive Officer, Jane Henty, she is excited about the launch and pleased to finally be able to share the changes with stakeholders. ‘We have such a strong history of our members providing support to mental health carers for over 30 years and we want to keep moving forward and build on that history. The release of the new logo is just one of the steps.’..(read on)
Government Warns of NDIS Scam
The Federal Government has warned people to beware of contact from anyone claiming to work for the Government who tries to make them pay an administration fee to access the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). The Minister for Disability Reform, Jenny Macklin, and Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities and Carers, Jan McLucas, issued a joint statement in which they warned people against falling for the scam. “These claims are false,” the statement said. “There is no need for people to pay a fee to join the National Disability Insurance Scheme.”
The Federal Government is investing $1 billion to launch the first stage of the NDIS in five sites across the country from July this year. The NDIS Launch Transition Agency will deliver the first stage of the NDIS and in the lead up to launch will communicate with many people with disability in the launch sites. However, the government has confirmed that the Agency will not be seeking fees from anyone to participate in the scheme...(read on)
Navigating mental health at work
SANE Australia | 6th Feb 2013
With almost half of Australians likely to experience a mental illness in their lifetime, it is highly likely that we all know someone affected by mental illness or will ourselves experience a mental illness at some point in our career. Research by the national mental health charity, SANE Australia, found that a staggering 95 percent of respondents said employers and managers needed education on mental illness, and training on how to manage its effects in the workplace... (read on)