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July 20, 2018

REPORT ON YOUTH JUSTICE IN QUEENSLAND RELEASED

In February 2018, former Queensland Police Commissioner Bob Atkinson was commissioned to examine and report on a range of youth justice matters. This included the progress of the Government's youth justice reforms, measures to reduce recidivism, and recommendations for youth detention from the Royal Commission into Child Sexual Abuse. The "Report on Youth Justice" covers the first two terms of reference with the third being the subject of a separate report. The key finding and recommendation is that the Queensland Government adopt as its policy position for youth justice four objectives that the report refers to as the "Four Pillars".  These "Four Pillars" are framed by two fundamental principles: that public safety is paramount and that community confidence is essential. The "Four Pillars" are 1) intervene early, 2) keep children out of court, 3) keep children out of custody and 4) reduce reoffending. In total there are 77 recommendations, including a recommendation that legislation be reviewed to increase the minimum age of criminal responsibility from 10 to 12 years of age. Other recommendations include that the Government consider extending drug diversion to drugs other than cannabis for minor drug offences committed by children, and that a range of evidence based treatment options for children in the youth justice system with substance use issues be considered. A "Key Agency Group" and "Regional Cross-Agency Coordination" with capacity to lead a whole of Government Youth Justice strategy is also recommended.

Download the "Report on Youth Justice" here (909KB PDF)

 

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July 20, 2018

WEBINAR: BORDERLINE PERSONALITY DISORDER IN YOUTH AND EARLY INTERVENTION - JULY 23, 2018

The Mental Health Professionals' Network in partnership with the Australian BPD Foundation and Spectrum Personality Disorder Service for Victoria are hosting a webinar on "Borderline Personality Disorder in Youth and Early Intervention". The webinar will be held on Monday 23 July 2018 at 7:15PM and aims to enhance the capacity of anyone working with people with borderline personality disorder (BPD).  The webinar will cover how to identify young people with borderline personality disorder, age appropriate interventions and how to work holistically with the young person and their family. The panel consists of a psychologist, psychiatrist, consumer and family peer support worker.

Click here to register for the "Borderline Personality Disorder in Youth and Early Intervention" webinar

 

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July 20, 2018

The New Yorker magazine has recently published an article titled "The Neuroscience of pain." The article describes some of the latest research into pain, including the ways that pain is experienced and described. The author participates in a study where she is given increasingly painful stimulus, while in an functional MRI machine that shows the pain sensation occurring in the brain. This research demonstrates that subjective experience of pain varies significantly. Some of this variation is related to psychological factors, including the anticipation of pain or anxiety around pain experience. The article goes on to describe some of the implications for the treatment of pain.

Go to "The Neuroscience of pain"

 



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July 20, 2018

CULTURAL ATLAS: UNDERSTANDING THE CULTURAL BACKGROUND OF AUSTRALIA’S MIGRANT COMMUNITIES

The Cultural Atlas developed by SBS is an online educational resource that provides comprehensive cultural information on the countries that Australia's biggest migrant populations have originated from.  When working with young people and families of different cultural backgrounds to our own, it helps to develop a cultural reference to inform how you approach interactions. Part of practicing from a culturally competent framework is acknowledging the impact of culture. The Cultural Atlas includes a broad range of cultural information, for example common etiquette, religious considerations and greetings.

Go to The Cultural Atlas

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July 13, 2018

QUEENSLAND’S CHILD PROTECTION LEGISLATION

The Department of Child Safety, Youth and Women have released an overview of the Child Protection Reform Amendment Act 2017, which includes a number of significant changes to the child protection system in Queensland. Some of the legislative changes include a shift in how the Department supports the connection of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people with their family, community and culture. Alongside this shift is a new principle to recognise the right of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to self-determination. The Amendment Act also broadens the existing role of 'recognised entities' to include independent people and organisations chosen by families for cultural advice to facilitate meaningful participation in decision making. Another change relates to permanency planning in response to growing research into stability and other factors that contribute to positive outcomes for children and young people. With the objective of providing long-term stable care, the new permanency principles will include reunification as the first preference with alternative goals in the event that reunification is not possible. A contemporary information sharing framework will also be introduced under the Act to support better coordination of services. The Department will be implementing the changes in a staged approach with changes coming into effect throughout 2018.


Download "Queensland's child protection legislation - Meeting the current and future needs of children and young people, their families and communities" (390KB PDF)

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July 13, 2018

KETAMINE AS TREATMENT FOR DEPRESSION

Wired magazine recently published an article titled "Ketamine stirs up hope - and controversy - as a depression drug." The hope surrounding ketamine is based on its rapid response rate, with the antidepressant effect occurring almost immediately after the drug is administered. A number of research articles have demonstrated improvement in mood following the use of ketamine in a clinical setting, however there is ongoing debate about the best ways to optimise outcomes and minimise risks. There have been some human trials of ketamine for depression, however the remain a number of unknowns such as the optimum dose, and the potential for side-effects or unintended outcomes. Research in chronic recreational ketamine users has shown brain lesions, persistent hallucinations, and inflammation of the bladder which in extreme cases has resulted in the removal of the bladder. Whilst the research into ketamine remains in its infancy, private clinics are offering ketamine treatment, leading to concerns that the treatment is running ahead of the research.

Go to "Ketamine stirs up hope - and controversy - as a depression drug"

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July 13, 2018

NATIONAL INDIGENOUS CRITICAL RESPONSE SERVICE

The National Indigenous Critical Response Service has been funded by the Commonwealth Government of Australia to provide a critical response to support individuals, families and communities affected by suicide or other trauma that is culturally responsive to their needs.  Critical Response Support Advocates can be invited by families to advocate on their behalf to ensure they are able to access the supports they need in their time of grief. The service also works to strengthen community capacity by coordinating and responding to family and community needs when a suicide or other traumatic event occurs in communities.  They also work with communities to prevent suicide, by addressing some of the local factors that can contribute to suicide.

To contact a Critical Response Support Advocate call 1800 805 801 24 hours, 7 days a week or visit their website for more information.

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July 13, 2018

HEALTH SERVICE RESPONSES TO YOUNG PEOPLE AFFECTED BY TRAUMA

A new report co-authored by Orygen, the National Centre of Excellence in Youth Mental Health and Phoenix Australia, the Centre for Posttraumatic Mental Health has been released titled "Trauma and young people: moving towards trauma-informed services and systems".  The document provides an overview of current treatment approaches and highlights the need for more reforms and focus on this area of practice. The report identifies that young people have high rates of trauma experiences; up to two out of three young people have been exposed to a traumatic event by the age of 16. The report discusses the importance of trauma informed care and considers ways of improving the capacity of workers to respond to trauma. The report has several recommendations including development of a national policy response for trauma, to increase the number of mental health and human service professionals who are trained in understanding and responding to trauma and the development of consistent trauma-informed curriculum within relevant tertiary courses.

 

Go to "Trauma and Young People: Moving towards trauma-informed services and systems"

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July 5, 2018

QUEENSLAND CORONER’S FINDINGS OF INQUEST INTO PRESCRIPTION OPIOID DEATHS

The Coroners Court of Queensland recently published the findings of inquest into four prescription opioid deaths. The inquest considered the four deaths to be representative of a larger trend of increasing prescription opioid deaths in Queensland and elsewhere in Australia.  The Coroner made a number of recommendations, many relating to the monitoring of prescription opioid use by prescribers like GPs or hospitals. The inquest also considered various measures to prevent "doctor shopping" and the inappropriate prescribing of opioids. The Coroner recommended the implementation of a real-time prescription monitoring system that would allow doctors and other health professionals to determine if a person was accessing other prescription opioids.  There were a range of other recommendations including educating GPs, restricting the promotion of opioids to doctors, and pharmacists to consider strategies such as staged supply of prescription opioids where appropriate.

Download the Coroners Court of Queensland Findings of Inquest (675KB PDF)

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July 5, 2018

NAIDOC WEEK 2018 “BECAUSE OF HER, WE CAN!”

NAIDOC Week 2018 celebrations will be held nationally from Sunday 8 July through to Sunday 15 July, with this year's theme being "Because of Her, We Can!" The theme acknowledges the significant roles Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women have played - and continue to play - in the community. NAIDOC week is a great opportunity to celebrate the history and culture of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and to show your support for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community, with events happening all over the state.

The find out more about NAIDOC week including to find local events happening in your community, visit the NAIDOC website.

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