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'What's New' eNewsletter April 2018

March 29, 2018

 

In this What's New: -

 

Australian Rotary Health

Podcast: Psychological Support for LGBTI+ People

Mental Health Matters – Kids Matter

Bipolar, Schizophrenia and Depression Are Genetically Linked

Seeking 30 Advance Readers for new Depression – Therapy book

“The Right to be Safe”

2018 TheMHS Awards

QNADA develops service finder for the sector

Have your say about Advance Statements & Nominated Persons

 

Research – Participants Required

Bereaved Persons Memories of Suicide Warning Signs Closes April 10th

A Study Comparing Rural and Metropolitan Mental Health

Retirement pathways, mental well-being and suicide in older rural Australians (NSW)

What term do you prefer? Carer, supporter or something else?

Burnout online study (BOOM)

(Exercise Services & Instructors) The Opinions and Experiences of Adults with Mental Illness

Supporting a Person after a Suicide Attempt

Burnout online study (BOOM)

Looking for New Ways of Living Well with Bipolar?

A brain imaging study of social and emotional processing in bipolar disorder

The Australian Genetics of Depression Study

New Treatment Trial for Bipolar Depression

The Effectiveness of Mangosteen for People With Schizophrenia

Mental health consumer and carer survey – Experiences of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS)

Bipolar Disorder Health and Lifestyle Study – Geelong

Early intervention in mental illness and substance abuse

Black Dog Institute Suicide Prevention Research

Black Dog Institute e-Mental Health Research

 

Australian Rotary Health

Australian Rotary Health is one of the largest independent funders of mental health research within Australia. They also provide funding into a broad range of general health areas, provide scholarships for rural medical and nursing students, as well as Indigenous health students. Australian Rotary Health provides funding into areas of health that do not readily attract funding, and promotes findings to the community. Australian Rotary Health is supported by a number of Rotary Clubs in Australia and have a broad vision to improve the health and wellbeing of all Australians.

Website - https://australianrotaryhealth.org.au/ 

Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/AustralianRotaryHealth 

Twitter - https://twitter.com/ausrotaryhealth 

Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/AusRotaryHealth/

 

Podcast: Psychological Support for LGBTI+ People

https://medcast.com.au/blogs/diversity-online-psychological-support-for-lgbtiplus-people-podcast/?utm_medium=rover

Listen to the Diversity Online episode to gain insight into the prevalence of mental health issues in the LGBTI+ community. Within the podcast experts also discuss appropriate psychological services for LGBTI+ people that are currently available including online services.

 

Mental Health Matters – Kids Matter

https://www.kidsmatter.edu.au/mental-health-matters

 

It’s a fact that children can be taught how to cope with their emotions, to bounce back from problems, and to develop positive relationships – this is called ‘social and emotional learning’. It’s also a fact that a child’s family is the first and biggest influence on their mental health. Basically, families can teach children these skills as early as possible in life – even from when they’re babies!

 

KidsMatter provides families with a range of information sheets to help them support children’s mental health and wellbeing, and to recognise if and when professional help is needed. They contain practical information, tips, and strategies across a range of common childhood issues, and were prepared by professionals experienced in the area of children’s mental health and development.

 

Bipolar, Schizophrenia and Depression Are Genetically Linked

https://natashatracy.com/bipolar-disorder/bipolar-schizophrenia-depression-genetically-linked/

 

I know to some people, saying that bipolar, schizophrenia and depression are genetic is like saying the sky is blue. We know that these illnesses are genetic. It’s obvious. It’s also pretty obvious (to, me, anyway) that bipolar disorder, depression and schizophrenia overlap in some ways. Nonetheless, some people require yet more proof. Well, welcome to some more proof. Bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, depression (and actually autism and alcoholism) are genetic and these illnesses’ genes even overlap. Yes, we bipolars are genetically linked to our brothers and sisters with other psychiatric disorders.

 

Seeking 30 Advance Readers for new Depression – Therapy book

My name is VJ Cast and I’m seeking 30 interested people (patients and/or practitioners) to review advance reader copies of Challenging the Black Dog: A Creative Outline for Tackling Depression https://www.offbeatbrains.com/ . No costs involved, but you must be willing to provide feedback by mid-May 2018.

 

The book is an art and writing therapy journal created by someone with 25 years of lived experience with mental illness under the guidance of qualified psychologist, Dr Travis Gee. It was specifically designed for young adults (15-25) in a style that should appeal to their tastes and addresses age-specific issues. Using a range of proven techniques it can easily be used as a form of guided self-therapy for those unable (or unwilling) to access other medical intervention or in conjunction with other medical resources, such as psychologists or therapists.

 

If you’re interested please feel free to contact me at vjcast@offbeatbrains.com 

 

 “The Right to be Safe”

New report just released by Mental Health Complaints Commissioner

 

The Complaints Commissioner has just finished a major investigation into 90 complaints about sexual harassment, sexual assault, and not feeling safe, while people were admitted to inpatient psychiatric units. The findings and recommendations have been published in a report called “The Right to be Safe”. 

 

Media coverage

We hope that media coverage is respectful of us, and that they acknowledge the gravity of this issue, and how a lack of sexual safety is absolutely unacceptable. We know that media doesn’t always portray us in the best light, and VMIAC will respond if this happens. It’s our hope that at least if you are forewarned of the upcoming media coverage, you won’t be taken by surprise, and can do what you need to stay safe.

 

What next?

VMIAC will be making a strong, ongoing response to the report, in the media, and to government. Next week we’ll share more information about the report, our responses and plans, how to make a complaint, and upcoming opportunities to have YOUR say.

 

This issue has affected many people in our consumer community, and we hope to talk with many of you over coming months, to ensure we have safe spaces to share painful histories, and to work together to influence real change. We will hold a consumer-only forum later this month.

 

More info:

You can read the report online.

Note: Some of our team found the report is distressing to read. Next week we’ll share a very short version for those who would rather not read the whole document.

 

•        Media release: https://www.mhcc.vic.gov.au/Api/downloadmedia/%7BA16F0867-E6E8-438C-A1BB-14C6917156EB%7D

•        Summary report: https://www.mhcc.vic.gov.au/Api/downloadmedia/%7BC87E6E9C-C6EB-4A45-9DFA-CE0F95C588D0%7D

•        Full report: https://www.mhcc.vic.gov.au/Api/downloadmedia/%7B92BDC206-99CA-4A14-87D6-057B5FFE1722%7D

 

We want you to know that we at VMIAC have been advocating about this issue for many years, and we know that this experience can be absolutely devastating. We want you to know that we believe you, that your experiences, rights and safety matter - and that we can bring about change together.

 

Vrinda Edan                                                 Deb Carlon

Chair of Committee of Management             Acting CEO

 

On behalf of the team at VMIAC

 

2018 TheMHS Awards

If you or someone you know is doing great work in mental health, submissions for the 2018 TheMHS Awards are NOW OPEN. There are 16 different TheMHS Awards which celebrate achievements in mental health across four main areas:

  • Service,

  • Program,

  • Research,

  • Outstanding Contribution Awards

CLOSING DATE        11 APRIL 2018

 

Media Journalism Awards

CLOSING DATE       26 APRIL 2018

 

Everyone is eligible, no matter how big or small their endeavour.

 

Category Winners Receive:

•        Complimentary Conference Registration

•        Travel and Accommodation to attend TheMHS Conference in Adelaide

 

Submissions can require a reasonable amount of preparation time, so consider starting now! Awards Presentation ceremony is held at TheMHS Conference in Adelaide on Wednesday, 28 August. There is no entry fee. Go to https://www.themhs.org/pages/achievement-awards.html for further information and online submission or email awards@themhs.org

 

QNADA develops service finder for the sector

The Queensland Network of Alcohol and other Drug Agencies (QNADA) is the peak organisation representing the views of the non-government alcohol and drug sector in Queensland.

 

QNADA has developed a service finder for the sector where you can find appropriate services in your community. QNADA also supports member agencies to deliver high quality services to individuals, families and communities affected by problematic use of alcohol and other drugs.

https://qnada.org.au/service-finder/

 

Have your say about Advance Statements & Nominated Persons

VMIAC is hosting a consultation for consumers to have their say about Advance Statements and Nominated Persons, on behalf of the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services.

 

Advance Statements and Nominated Persons are two rights created by the Mental Health Act, and their purpose is to help protect our fundamental rights to make our own decisions about psychiatric treatment.

 

Since 2014, only about 2% of consumers using services have an Advance Statement or Nominated Person, and the department wants to understand what’s getting in the way of more people using them. If you have experiences to share - either about using these, or about what’s stopped you from using these, we’d love to hear from you.

 

Consultation:

Date:                     Wed 4 April 2018

Time:                    11am – 12pm

Venue:                  VMIAC, Building 1, 22 Aintree St, East Brunswick

Eligibility:              Only open to consumers

 

RSVP:

Ring VMIAC Reception on 03 9380 3900

Please note: We will ask if you’ve had an advance statement or nominated person, and if so, whether you’ve used them. This is to help get a variety of different experiences for the consultation.

 

UPDATE on Consultations about Advance Statements & Nominated Persons

  • $40 payment to attendees

  • You don’t need to have an advance statement

We sent out an invite this week to come and have your say about Advance Statements and Nominated Persons, but we forgot to say that we will be able to pay people who attend a fee of $40 (into your bank account).

We’ve also had some queries about who can attend:

  • We’re interested in people who’ve never had an advance statement or nominated person

  • We’d like to understand what you know about them, whether you want one, what might stop you getting one, whether you think they’re a good idea

  • If you have an advance statement or nominated person, we’re also keen to hear about your experience too

Thanks everyone. As before, you can register by calling VMIAC reception on

03 9380 3900.

 

Later that afternoon we are hosting a free community talk by Daniel Fisher (US) – read more here https://www.vmiac.org.au/whats-on/finding-our-authentic-voice-in-times-of-backlash-and-co-optation/

If you’d like to stay on for this as well please let us know so we can arrange lunch.

 

Glimpses – A compilation of uncensored real life experiences with Mental Illness

Evan Bichara's Recovery Story  https://www.thisismyreality.com.au/glimpses-consumer-stories

 

Minds Unleashed – A collection of poetry by people with a Mental Illness & their Carers

Cassy Nunan's Poetry    https://www.thisismyreality.com.au/minds-unleashed-poetry

​​​​​​​Cassy provides insight into life with a mental illness through verse, in the following poems.

  • Mutation

  • Winter Sigh

  • Amazing

  • Write something, right something

 

 

Research – Participants Required

 

Bereaved Persons Memories of Suicide Warning Signs Closes April 10th

Australian Institute for Suicide Research and Prevention (AISRAP)

 

AISRAP is conducting a survey of those bereaved by suicide (family and friends) to explore the observations you recall in your loved one in the hours, days and weeks prior to their death. We hope this study will help us better understand how our loved ones communicate their distress and the time frames in which these observations (behaviours, emotions and/or conversations) occur.  Note that the student researcher identifies as bereaved by suicide.

 

Recalling memories of your loved one’s suicide may heighten anxiety, distress or sadness. Before deciding to participate, please consider speaking with your personal support network such as family, friends, support group or counsellor/psychologist/psychiatrist.

 

Types of volunteers needed

Bereaved adults 18 years and over who have lost someone close to them by suicide between 2007-2017. *Please be advised, we cannot accept participants who have lost a loved one due to suicide in the last six months.

 

To access further information, or to take part in the study please go to https://griffithisbr.co1.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_0xpFBm0ge6e7F6B&Q_JFE=0

 

If you have any questions about the study please contact Elizabeth Tabrett Elizabeth.tabrett@griffithuni.edu.au

 

Ethics Clearance

This study has been cleared in accordance with the ethical review process of Griffith University and within the guidelines of the National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research. GU Ethics Ref No: 2017/1014.

 

A Study Comparing Rural and Metropolitan Mental Health

Australian Institute for Suicide Research and Prevention (AISRAP)

 

Rural people are at significantly higher risk of suicide and generally report limited access to mental health support compared to metropolitan Australians. Complete this research to help us determine the best intervention strategies to address this gap.

 

If you would like to find out more, or to complete this survey please go to https://griffithmhiq.co1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_0USeA379RWGyjdz

 

Researcher: Amy Kaukiainen M. Clinical Psychology, Griffith University, amy.kaukiainen@griffithuni.edu.au

Supervisor: Kairi Kolves, AISRAP Principle Research Fellow, k.kolves@griffith.edu.au

 

Ethics Clearance

This study has been cleared in accordance with the ethical review process of Griffith University and within the guidelines of the National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research. (GU Ref No: 2017/910)

 

Retirement pathways, mental well-being and suicide in older rural Australians 

Western Sydney University

 

The researcher, Kylie Crnek-Georgeson, is interested in talking to people about their experiences of work and retirement in rural communities, and how it might affect mental well-being, including any form of suicidal behaviour. This is not a survey-based project. Kylie will interview individuals, taking approximately one hour, and she is interested in talking to people from the following groups in rural and remote New South Wales.

 

People over the age or 45, living in rural or remote NSW, and who relate to one of the following groups:

 

Group 1- Next of Kin (NOK) – Lived Experience (has had a family member die by suicide in the last 10 years, who was either working or retired and over 45 years of age)

 

Group 2- Lived Experience (has had lived experience of suicide and is either retired or working and over 45 years of age)

 

Group 3 – Retired or working (has not had any lived experience of suicide, either themselves or through the loss of a family member, and is over 45 years of age).

 

If you are interested in participating in this study go to https://www.suicidepreventionaust.org/content/research-invitation-letter-university-western-sydney to download the Invitation Letter. You are also invited to call Kylie to ask questions about the project, by phone, email or letter.

 

Phone: (02) 4620 3628

Mail: Western Sydney University, School of Medicine, The Health Research Institute, Building 3, Campbelltown Campus

Attention: Kylie Crnek-Georgeson

Locked bag 1797, Penrith, NSW. 2751

Email: k.crnek-georgeson@westernsydney.edu.au

 

This project has been approved by the WSU Ethics Committee, Approval number H12022

 

What term do you prefer? Carer, supporter or something else?

SANE Australia Research Project

 

Do you live with or support someone living with a mental illness? Or, do you manage symptoms and receive assistance from a carer?

 

SANE Australia is interested in how you describe this relationship. The survey will take approximately 3-minutes survey and be part of the process of shaping language used by SANE Australia.

 

Go to https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/TBZTMN6 to learn more or to participate.

 

 

Burnout online study (BOOM)

https://blackdoginstitute.org.au/research/participate-in-our-research/burnout-online-study

Are you currently experiencing BURNOUT?

Whether you are working, retired, studying or responsible for home/care duties, you may be currently feeling burnt out. If so, you are invited to participate in research aiming to clarify the nature of burnout, as well as to develop a tool to accurately measure the condition.

 

Would the research study be a good fit for you?

 

The study might be a good fit for you if you:

  • are fluent in written and spoken English

  • are between the ages of 18 and 65

  • self-identify as currently experiencing ‘burnout’.

 

(Exercise Services & Instructors) The Opinions and Experiences of Adults with Mental Illness

This consumer-led research project is on the attitudes and opinions of people living with, or recovering from, mental illness who are over 18 years of age, and who have engaged with exercise services (e.g. gyms, sports clubs, walking groups), or exercise instructors (e.g. personal trainer, exercise physiologist, coach)

.

Exercise can improve physical and mental health; exercise services and exercise instructors can play a key role in increasing exercise participation in people with mental health issues. The aim of this qualitative study is to better understand your opinions and experiences with exercise services and instructors to guide recommendations given to exercise staff and organisations about working with people recovering from mental illness.

 

Participation will involve a 30-60 minute interview over the phone, or in person if you live in the Brisbane area. Further information can be found here: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1TioQMQ32Clo6Q-thCH7hGyRBqRh9Qk_M

Justin Chapman

Research Officer, PhD

Phone: 0432 299 240

QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute

 

Supporting a Person after a Suicide Attempt

Here at SANE Australia, we are conducting a new piece of research in collaboration with the University of New England into people’s experience of supporting a person after a suicide attempt. The aim is to gain insight into the impact of supporting someone and the services or help that would make the role easier.

 

This research will lead to the development of resources to support people caring for a person after a suicide attempt.

 

If you are over 18 and have supported someone around attempted suicide in the last ten years, Survey available at: www.sane.org/better-support-project Please also feel free to share with those in your network; the bigger sample we achieve, the more representative the research.

 

Looking for New Ways of Living Well with Bipolar?  See Attachment

www.orbitonline.org

If you are over 18 and have bipolar disorder you may be eligible to help us trial new, online self-guided interventions designed to improve quality of life in people who experience bipolar. We are comparing two types of interventions that have been created by international experts which both include videos, exercises, tools, forums and an online coach.

To find out if these interventions are helpful, you would also be asked to complete 4 assessments (which include a telephone and online component) over a 6-month period. You will be reimbursed for participation in these assessments.

 

A brain imaging study of social and emotional processing in bipolar disorder  See Attachment 1

http://cogsbd.weebly.com/     

Bipolar disorder is a psychiatric disorder characterised by extreme fluctuations in mood.  Some people with bipolar disorder experience impairments in thinking or difficulties in processing and regulating emotions.  It is possible that particular types of genes and circuits in the brain contribute to these difficulties, but further research is needed to understand their involvement.

 

This project aims to investigate the thinking and emotional patterns associated with bipolar disorder through the use of cutting-edge neuropsychology and neuroscience techniques.  Attachment 2

 

The Australian Genetics of Depression Study

https://www.geneticsofdepression.org.au/

The overarching objective of the Australian Genetics of Depression Study is to learn more about the genetic drivers of clinical depression, and the genetic factors that influence the effectiveness of various clinical depression treatments.

 

Study researchers are working to recruit more than 20,000 Australians aged 18+ to the study who:

•Have been treated for clinical depression in the past; or

•Are currently being treated for clinical depression.

If you know of anyone living with depression, now or in the past please let them know about the study.

 

New Treatment Trial for Bipolar Depression   See Attachment

www.mangosteenbipolar.com

Do you have bipolar disorder and are looking for something more than your usual treatment?

You are invited to join a preliminary study of the effectiveness and benefits of the Mangosteen Fruit Extract for people with Bipolar Depression.

 

The Effectiveness of Mangosteen for People With Schizophrenia    See Attachment

https://mangosteenschizophrenia.com/

The project aims to determine if the product made from mangosteen fruit will have a positive effect on the symptoms of schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder

 

Mental health consumer and carer survey – Experiences of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS)

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/63Y53QN

The purpose of this survey is to inform Occupational Therapy Australia’s presentation at the upcoming National NDIS Mental Health Conference in November. OTA’s presentation will focus on current issues associated with the provision of NDIS services for people with psychosocial disability. The presentation is titled ‘Keep Calm and Carry On: A newcomer’s guide to the NDIS’. It will be delivered by Anita Volkert, OTA’s National Manager: Professional Practice and Development.

 

Virtual Clinic – Sweet Spot Study

https://virtualclinic.org.au/trials/sweet-spot

We are recruiting individuals who are currently experiencing difficulties with anxiety and/or low mood for a study to evaluate our online treatment program with varying levels of support.  The study uses our well-established 6-lesson mixed anxiety and depression course as part of the program – it is very good and is certainly the most popular of all our courses.

 

Bipolar Disorder Health and Lifestyle Study - Geelong     See Attachment

http://www.barwonhealth.org.au/currently-recruiting-clinical-trials-other-studies/item/geelong-bipolar-disorder-health-and-lifestyle-research-study   

 

This study aims to investigate health and lifestyle factors associated with bipolar disorder and its related illnesses.

The purpose of this investigation is to increase our understanding of bipolar disorder and related illnesses, and may benefit people with bipolar disorder by further understanding the illness.

Participants must have a diagnosis of bipolar disorder, be aged over 20, and usually reside in the Geelong and surrounding area.

 

Early intervention in mental illness and substance abuse

www.blackdoginstitute.org.au/research/key-research-areas/prevention-in-young-people

 

Adolescence can be a difficult time for many young people. It is seen as a crucial period for intervention as 75% of mental health problems emerge before the age of 25 years. Led by Scientia Professor Helen Christensen, the Black Dog Institute is focused on developing ways to prevent the onset of mental illness in young people. Prevention targeted at the right time can help to stop young people from experiencing episodes of both depression and bipolar disorder. To engage adolescents, our prevention work often utilises web-based technology and mobile apps.

 

Black Dog Institute Suicide Prevention Research

www.blackdoginstitute.org.au/research/key-research-areas/suicide-prevention for details on current prevention research

 

The Black Dog Institute is a strong and vocal player in suicide research, an area of great unmet need. The Black Dog Institute currently hosts the prestigious NHMRC Centre of Research Excellence in Suicide Prevention, led by Professor Christensen.

 

Young Australians are more likely to take their own life than die from motor vehicle accidents or skin cancer. Suicide is the most common cause of death in Australians aged 15-44 and the tenth most common cause of death overall for Australian males. In Australia, the financial costs have been estimated at $17.5b or 1% of GDP.

 

Many people with suicidal thoughts are reluctant to seek help. The Internet can play an important role in overcoming obstacles for seeking help by providing accessible and anonymous prevention efforts. The suicide prevention research team are working on a range of projects in suicide prevention.

 

Black Dog Institute e-Mental Health Research

www.blackdoginstitute.org.au/research/key-research-areas/emental-health

 

The Black Dog Institute is a leader in the area of e-mental health research developing interventions to lower depression, lower suicide risk and promote wellbeing. It is known that about two-thirds of people with a mental illness do not seek help. Despite increased investment and strong evidence showing that prevention and intervention saves lives, factors like geography, stigma and social circumstances make it hard for people to get help.

 

Please rate the quality of This Is My Reality communications and service by going to https://www.facebook.com/thisismyrealityaus and provide feedback via the star rating.

 

Content Submission Invitation

You are invited to submit content on mental health related information, sites, events, research call for participants or findings, etc. for inclusion in my monthly newsletter. I will endeavour to post the eNewsletter at the start of each month (mental health permitting). Please submit any items for inclusion to info@thisismyreality.com.au by the 26th of the month, for inclusion in the following month’s eNewsletter.

 

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We are currently accepting recommendations for Mental Health Coping Strategies & Techniques, and Australian Online Supports, Research Study Sites, Treatments & Therapies, Apps, Courses and Lived Experience Books. Please fill out the submission form below, and once we look at a suggested inclusion, we will add them to our site.