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October 20, 2017

NEW NATIONAL MENTAL HEALTH PORTAL: HEAD TO HEALTH

The Australian Government Department of Health and Aging have launched a new website called "Head to Health."  The site is designed to help people find information, resources and services that can improve mental health and well being. The site includes links to mental health websites, apps and online programs, dedicated forums, as well as phone chat and email services.

Go to "Head to Health."

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July 29, 2016

CHILD, ADOLESCENT AND YOUNG ADULT SUICIDES IN QUEENSLAND

An article has been published in the Journal of Child and Adolescent Behaviour titled "Child, adolescent and young adult suicides: A comparison based on the Queensland suicide registry". The Queensland suicide registry records all suicides in Queensland since 1990, and contains information from police reports, autopsy and toxicology information, Coroner's findings and a narrative report of the circumstances of death. In this report, 850 youth suicides from 2002 to 2011 were analysed, focusing on differences between the age groups 10-14 (children / early adolescents), 15-19 (late adolescents) and 20-24 (young adults). Across the entire sample, the authors found that one in five young people had made a previous suicide attempt, and more than one third had communicated their intent to commit suicide in the twelve months before their deaths. The authors found a number of important differences across the age cohorts. For example, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people made up 45.2% of suicides in the 10 - 14 year old age group.

Read "Child, adolescent and young adult suicides: A comparison based on the Queensland suicide registry"

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May 13, 2016

CANNABIS USE IN PEOPLE WITH PSYCHOSIS

An article has been published in The Lancet Psychiatry titled "Continued versus discontinued cannabis use in patients with psychosis: A systematic review and meta-analysis".  The authors looked at 24 studies that included 16 565 participants.  They found that people who were diagnosed with psychosis and continued to use cannabis had a greater increase in relapse of psychosis than those who ceased cannabis use.  The people who continued using cannabis also had longer hospital admissions than non cannabis users.  The authors conclude with "Continued cannabis use after onset of psychosis predicts adverse outcome, including higher relapse rates, longer hospital admissions, and more severe positive symptoms than for individuals who discontinue cannabis use and those who are non-users."  This article is followed by a response titled "Correlation still does not imply causation" which urges caution in these findings, with the authors describing the "shared vulnerability hypothesis".


"Continued versus discontinued cannabis use in patients with psychosis: A systematic review and meta-analysis"

 

"Correlation still does not imply causation"

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October 24, 2014

NEW HEADSPACE LOCATIONS ANNOUNCED

Coinciding with mental health week last week, the federal government have announced the locations for the new Headspace services for Queensland.  The new locations include Moreton Bay North (Caboolture), Gladstone, Brisbane east (Capalaba) and Bundaberg.  It is expected that these services will become operational over the next two years, bringing the total number of Headspace centres nationwide to 100.

For further information go to http://www.headspace.org.au/

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October 10, 2014

QUEENSLAND MENTAL HEALTH DRUG AND ALCOHOL STRATEGIC PLAN LAUNCHED

The Queensland Mental Health Commission (QMHC) has launched the Queensland Mental Health, Drug and Alcohol Strategic Plan 2014 - 2019. The plan is the result of extensive consultation with a broad range of stakeholders including people with personal experience as well as their families and professionals who work with people experiencing mental health or alcohol and other drug problems. The plan is based on four pillars: better services, better awareness, prevention and early intervention, better engagement and collaboration, better transparency and accountability.  Associated with the plan is the "Stronger Community Mental Health and Wellbeing Grants Program", offering a total of $500 000 across three initiatives: Community Wellbeing and Enhancement Initiative, Community Awareness Initiative, and Capacity Building for Community Wellbeing.

More information on the Queensland Mental Health Drug and Alcohol Strategic Plan

More information on the Stronger Community Mental Health and Wellbeing Grants Program

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September 19, 2014

MENTAL HEALTH WEEK: 5TH - 12TH OF OCTOBER

National Mental Health Week is fast approaching and events are planned right around Queensland.  The theme of Mental Health Week in Queensland is "Mind Clicks: Where minds meet".  The theme refers to "the moment you click with a person, activity or group and find a sense of understanding and support that helps you feel more positive, more in control and more aware of your mental health."

Find out more information at the Queensland Mental Health Week website.

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July 20, 2012

OUR HEALING WAYS: DUAL DIAGNOSIS RESOURCES FOR INDIGENOUS HEALTH WORKERS

"Our Healing Ways" was a project of the Victorian Dual Diagnosis Initiative, which looked specifically at building capacity around Indigenous dual diagnosis issues.  The project has just launched three key resources which many workers in Queensland will find useful.  This includes "Our Healing Ways Manual: Putting Wisdom into Practice", a manual which describes best practice Aboriginal perspectives on dual diagnosis issues; "A resource book for Aboriginal workers on the relationship between alcohol and drugs and mental health" which provides general information on holistic assessment, recovery planning, stages of change and interventions; and "Supervision: A culturally appropriate model for Aboriginal workers" developed to meet the needs of Indigenous Health Workers working in AOD, mental health or related fields.

Download the resources from Dual Diagnosis Australia and New Zealand Website

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February 10, 2012

SUICIDAL INTENT AMONGST YOUNG PEOPLE

The Queensland Commission for Children and Young People and Child Guardian (CCYPCG) published a report in November 2011 which is worth re-visiting.  The paper titled "Child Deaths:  Suicide Intent" looks at the circumstances surrounding children who commit suicide.   The paper looks at data from the Child Death Register from 2004 - 2011.   Over this period, 131 deaths of young people were considered suicide.  The report found that in many of these cases, the children had communicated their suicidal intentions weeks, months or in some cases years in advance.

Child Deaths:  Suicidal Intent (470KB PDF)

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November 25, 2011

STIMULANT USE DISORDER IN AUSTRALIA

The Medical Journal of Australia has published a study drawing on data from the 2007 National Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing.   A population sample of 8841was surveyed in order to estimate the lifetime and past year prevalence of stimulant use disorder using DSM-IV criteria.   3.3% of the sample we found to have had a stimulant use disorder at some time in their life, the twelve month prevalence rate was 0.6%.   Over 8% of men aged 16-29 years of age met the criteria for a stimulant use disorder at some time in their lives.

Stimulant Use and Stimulant Use Disorders in Australia: findings from the National Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing (142Kb PDF)

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November 18, 2011

NEW RESOURCES ON SUBSTANCE USE AND MENTAL HEALTH

The National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre (NDARC) have developed a range of new resources explaining the links between mental health conditions and substance use.   The resources cover anxiety, mood and personality disorders, as well as psychosis and trauma.  Each guide is approximately 20 pages long, and contains comprehensive information explaining the various disorders, their relationship with substance use and tips for staying well.  Hard copies can be ordered from NDARC for $1.75 each, or $8.50 for a pack of 5.   Electronic copies can be downloaded free from the NDARC website.

NDARC Website:  Mental Health and Substance Use Explained

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