- Arafmi WA hosted its third Walk of Pride against mental health stigma
- Arafmi QLD also hosted a Walk of Pride: Click on this link to see the video report
- Arafemi VIC held forum entitled ‘Involving Carers in Supporting Recovery’.
- Mental Illness Fellowship of Australia (NT) hosted a carers outing to the Darwin Military Museum followed by a delicious lunch at the Trailer Boat Club , looking out at the beautiful Darwin harbour.
- Arafmi NSW participated in a Carer & Consumer Information Day at Bradfield Park.
This month saw Carers Week! MHCAA member organisaitons hosted a number of events for carers and to raise the awareness of carer issues.
The Fiji Times states: "All too often the role of families and caregivers is taken for granted without any care to providing basic information or understanding of the mental health issues at hand, leaving families to orientate and navigate the mental health system on their own. Little or no psychosocial support is offered to families to assist them in caring for their loved ones.
As such, Fiji is fortunate to have seen the formation of the Family Support Network (FSNet), which is long overdue and an important milestone in Fiji mental health. It is an organisation of family members supporting one another with technical support from mental health care professionals with the focus on providing the best possible care for their loved ones through better understanding, skills and knowledge of relevant mental health issues which is a vital necessity. Through their efforts they have published a Carers' Manual and DVD, which are available through St Giles Hospital." For the full article click here.
A new set of guidelines launched today aim to help mental health and social service providers better understand the complex effects of trauma on adult survivors of childhood abuse.
The guidelines, funded by the Federal Government and developed by Adult Survivors of Child Abuse (ASCA), were launched today in Canberra by Minister for Mental Health Mark Butler.
Mr Butler said the guidelines would contribute to our understanding of the implications of childhood abuse on mental health.... For the full media release click here.
Visit the Adult Survivors of Child Abuse (ASCA) website for more information www.asca.org.au/blueknotday
For help, call ASCA's support line on 1300 657 380 or visit the website www.asca.org.au
The Certificate IV Mental Health Peer Work qualification and associated units were endorsed by the National Skills Standards Council (NSSC) in May 2012. This course will enable peer workers to gain a recognised qualification, thereby greatly enhancing the recognition of peer support work across the sector. Click here to find out more.
As of October 2012, Health Industry Training Queensland is the only RTO approved to deliver this qualification in Australia.
Citation: Cummins, Robert A., Campbell, Peter & Hammond, Thomas. 2012, ‘Carers counselling intervention study Vol. 2', Deakin University, Geelong, Victoria.
Carers Australia states “This report details the procedures and findings from two phases of a pilot study, designed to determine the effectiveness of the Carers Australia counselling intervention. Carers Victoria has been working together with Carers Australia, Carers SA, Carers NT -and Deakin University to measure the effectiveness of counselling through the National Carer Counselling Program.” Click here for more details.
This website aid families to understand more about children’s mental health, the types of things families can do to support children to grow up being healthy, as well as suggestions of where families can go if you need further help. Click here for the website.
The National Carer Strategy has been released by the Australian Government in order to increase recognition of carers and to better respond to the needs of carers. There are several accompanying documents:
For further information go to http://www.fahcsia.gov.au/our-responsibilities/disability-and-carers/publications-articles/national-carer-strategy-implementation-plan
MHiMA is seeking Expressions of Interest for a culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) Consumer Working Group and a CALD Carer Working Group. The Working Groups will provide advice and represent the views and interests of mental health consumers and carers from migrant and refugee backgrounds at a national level. If you have lived experience of mental illness, are from a CALD background (or care for someone who is from a CALD background), and want to contribute to a national agenda on multicultural mental health, we want to hear from you. Applications close on the 31st of October. Further information, including an application form, is available from the MHiMA website. For more information, please contact Amy: email@example.com or (08) 8302 2643.
Issues: Suicide, youth, mental health, headspace, schools
FRAN KELLY: Yes, suicide, it's one of the most heartbreaking issues that our community deals with, it's estimated that one Australian teenager takes their own life every three days, but the deaths are rarely reported and teachers are often directed in fact not to talk about it for fear of encouraging a copycat syndrome at schools.
Now that way of thinking is starting to change and today the Federal Government will announce it will provide funds for its youth mental health foundation, headspace, to move into secondary schools which lose students to suicide.
Mark Butler is the Minister for Mental Health. Minister, good morning, welcome to Breakfast.
MARK BUTLER: Morning Fran.
FRAN KELLY: Suicide is the single biggest cause of death amongst young people in this country, what will your new program do to try and change that?
MARK BUTLER: Well this particular program targets school communities and as you said tragically on average two or three school-aged Australians die by suicide every week, and historically there has been a reluctance to talk about this but that is changing. It's changing at all levels, teachers are more open to talking about it, parents are more open to talking about it, but probably most importantly of all, even if we wanted to control discussion about it, things like Facebook and other technology mean that students themselves immediately move into a discussion about a tragedy that's impacted them.
FRAN KELLY: So in fact social media in a sense is leading this change in how we deal with it, because we've had discussions on this program a couple of years ago now when there was a fear of a bit of a cluster of suicides within some schools and some communities, that the best way to deal with it was try and shut it down, not talk about it.
MARK BUTLER: Yeah, I'm not sure anyone really believes that's the best way to deal with it now. And so the service that we're announcing today is a specialist crisis outreach service, recognising that school communities themselves - the counsellors, the principals, the teachers and the parents - do need some help to provide proper grief counselling services, other resources that they might needed, but also to be alive to the risk of peer suicides, or as many people describe them “copycat suicides”, and intervening very early to prevent that tragedy from repeating itself.
FRAN KELLY: So what will this new program, the intervention by headspace into schools, what will that do and when will it occur, only after a suicide occurs, is that the idea?
MARK BUTLER: Well that is the idea. And there are a range of other services obviously available either at state level or that we're funding for early intervention for young people in distress, this is I think a long process of building those services. But this particular service I guess responds to a niche need which is a school community that has been impacted by suicide, it's called a postvention response, and the people who will be placed in offices in all states and territories have the capacity to deal with those particular needs.
FRAN KELLY: And longer term a better way to manage this I guess is to make sure the teachers, the school communities have those skills themselves so it doesn't need a sort of a fly-in headspace worker to do the job. Is there a program in place for that?
MARK BUTLER: There is, there's a program called MindMatters that's been running for a few years now, it's got about coverage of over 80 per cent in high schools, and it supports teachers and students learning about the signs of mental distress and what you can do if those signs become apparent either in yourself or among school mates.
Obviously also you know Fran that we're building a range of youth friendly services in the community, headspace services for example, but others as well, that recognise that adolescence and the early-20s are really the danger ages for the emergence of mental disorders, so we need services that young people will feel comfortable accessing if they recognise those signs of distress in themselves.
FRAN KELLY: It's 22 past eight on Breakfast, our guest this morning Mark Butler, the Minister for Mental Health.
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