Some great initiatives to update you with.
The first is the Head to Health website that provides resources regarding mental health services and care. This can include apps, online support communities and online/phone services.
The second is the #WeSpeakUp social media campaign to reduce stigma and tell authentic recovery stories. http://www.comhwa.org.au/experienced-storytellers-wanted/
The third is the Thrive at Work website to assist workplaces to promote positive mental health and wellbeing. This builds on the release of the study ‘Impact of FIFO work arrangements on the mental health and wellbeing of FIFO workers’. https://www.thriveatwork.org.au/
I enjoy rural/remote work, and have great respect for the world’s oldest, living, continuous culture. An article this week in the MJA by Dr Wilson & Dr Blow, had some great ideas to improve respect, understanding and reciprocity with Australia’s indigenous peoples. These included learning about and acknowledging traditional land owners, using indigenous language for places etc and participating in Reconciliation and NAIDOC weeks. These and other small steps are ones we can all embrace and will help strengthen relationships, understanding, and long-term healing.
World Autism Awareness Day was on April 2. https://www.autismawareness.com.au/
Australia is leading in Autism research and treatments, to significantly improve outcomes.
I was very interested to learn about development of an app (ASDetect App – http://asdetect.org/) to assist parents see the early signs in their toddler.
Watch this on https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HxLh3M5UO00&feature=youtu.be
Mindfulness is the awareness that comes from paying focussed attention to the present to alleviate stress, anxiety and low mood.
We recently came across two excellent 8-week programs:
For those that like online work (and free) – https://palousemindfulness.com/
For those that like book work – Mindfulness in Eight Weeks by Michael Chaskalson – https://mindfulnessworks.com/michael-chaskalson
Start today !
I received a leaflet recently from Consumers of Mental Health WA, who have a program supporting conversations about medication.
Melville Clinic understands the importance of you understanding medications. Please remember you can go to our website’s Medication page and click on View Printable Leaflets. This has drop down menus and many other handy fact sheets.
I was fortunate to visit Zimbabwe many years ago. And I have been fortunate recently to meet a driving Zimbabwean force behind this inspiring charity, with local and international projects. Nokutenda Disability Foundation focuses on promoting mental health for diverse immigrants, displaced persons, refugees and indigenous people. Their understanding of African history, culture and stigma, places them in a unique position to help this cohort.
There are many Australian regional champions for mental health.
I particularly appreciated Katrina Myers approach – “sharing stories and starting conversations”.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mVL5cUquC8M – the avocado farmer planting seeds of positivity.
http://thesplendidword.com.au/test-record-for-podcast-category/ – a podcast for regional women.
https://therippleeffect.com.au/ – helping to beat rural suicide.
Another fantastic interview from ABC Conversations radio program, recorded at this year’s Byron Writers’ Festival. Matt Haig is a UK novelist. His latest book, Notes on a Nervous Planet, looking at the way we live our lives and the impact of stress and social media, is sobering. He talks about his perspective from a lived experience viewpoint, particularly relevant for anxiety, panic and depressive disorders.
A colleague recently sent me the link to Luke Jackson. Luke has Asperger’s Syndrome and is a respected writer and public speaker on Autism Spectrum Disorders. He wrote the bestselling ‘Freaks, Geeks and Asperger’s Syndrome’ (adolescence guide) and his new book ‘Sex, Drugs and Asperger’s Syndrome’ (adult guide). Read more about Luke here at his website:
Community support is becoming more inclusive and innovative. I recently learned of this great initiative:
I am recommending this latest enjoyable and enlightening read: “The Courage to be Disliked”. It views our life narrative from a different perspective and allows us to shift towards feeling more free and happy. Given it is a dialogue between teacher and student, it suits the audiobook style.
Don’t forget that September 13 is RUOK day. But we can all start a conversation with anyone we are worried about on any day.
Regional and rural areas have a new champion with the Naked Farmer, raising money through this fun initiative, and encouraging the community to open up and discuss mental health.
I thank my friend for introducing me to this fantastic ABC programming. Tall Tales and True is live storytelling by unique and brave Australians,
baring their souls to tell moving stories. Have a listen.
It was Telehealth awareness week last week 25 June-28 June. Read what this rural GP has to say about the improving health access for regional Australia.
Doctors’ mental health issues have an advocate in Dr Toogood, an Australian cardiologist. He has come up with an idea to raise better awareness of these issues in the medical profession. That idea became June 1st as #Socks4Docs or #CrazySocks4Docs day. Please wear some crazy or odd socks on 1st June and let people know about the cause when they ask.
We were impressed with this fantastic UK charity that inreaches into schools with programs to improve diversity, and LGBT acceptance and understanding. This improves mental health, social, family and educational outcomes.
If you need a pick-me-up song, this classic always helps. This you-tube link has the lyrics for you to sing along to this great version of “Keep On The Sunny Side”. https://youtu.be/dNToRJI_oeg
March 30th is World Bipolar Day, a date chosen because it is Vincent Van Gogh’s birthday.
Jordan Peterson summarises his best-selling book “Twelve Rules for Life” in this YouTube video.
We have a special interest in Diabetes and follow the research and progress closely. Greater awareness of the associated mental health complications is beginning, summarised in this article. Please seek us out at Melville Clinic if you identify with this. Our specialised knowledge of diabetes and mental health at Melville Clinic means we are motivated to understand and assist.
We were inspired to learn of this charity, working towards educating people about synthetic drugs. From tragedy can come meaning.
Read about this amazing woman and her drive and energy.
www.fortitudeatwork.com.au and https://www.smh.com.au/lifestyle/health-and-wellness/mental-health-the-major-issue-small-business-owners-are-facing-in-silence-20171003-gytbpd.html
World Mental Health Day is October 10. Get involved.
Part of any recovery is Act Belong Commit. This mental health promotion encourages individuals to take action to protect and promote their own mental wellbeing. For more info: http://www.actbelongcommit.org.au/
A courageous example are these Bridgetown dudes, fund-raising for The Kids Cancer Project after the loss of their son. They left Bridgetown on 1st September, for an amazing 600km scooter/bike trip around the South West. Check them out at: http://www.superkidssuperheroes.com.au/2017-scooter-tour/
Another inspiring SBS Insight episode, this time regarding veteran issues and the issues they face when they return to civilian life. http://www.sbs.com.au/news/insight/tvepisode/coming-home
Two highly recommended smart-phone apps for self help and self management. The “High Res” app has been developed by the Australian Defence Force to build resilience skills to deal with stressful situations. Beyond Blue have developed the “Beyond Now” app which helps you create a structured safety plan if you or someone close is experiencing suicidal thoughts or feelings.
We were very inspired by the recent SBS Insight episode discussing Autism, giving a voice to those marginalised and stigmatised in our society. We highly recommend this episode.
We are looking forward to the 18th International Mental Health Conference in August. The theme this year is Primary Interventions, Promoting Recovery, Prevention and the latest Policy Initiatives. Full details are here:
Excellent ABC Conversations podcast with Richard Fidler, about early Australian psychiatry and the amazing discovery of Lithium by John Cade: