Tuesday, June 15, 2010

E-mental health research & development

E-hub is an initiative of the Centre for Mental Health Research at the Australian National University. e-hub develops and evaluates websites that deliver psycho-education and psychological nterventions for common mental health problems, as well as clinical and consumer networking.
A range of the e-hub’s projects have explored the importance and quality of health information on the Internet, and the use of the Internet for disseminating public health information on depression.

The goals of e-hub are to:

+ Investigate and evaluate markers of high quality web information in mental health.
+ Investigate the usefulness of these markers for community use of Internet material.
+ Develop and evaluate web interventions that reduce symptoms and stigma in the community.
+ Evaluate methods such as targeting and tailoring to determine optimal methods for improving mental health outcomes.
+ Develop and evaluate web interventions that improve communication amongst researchers, and clinical teams, and provide infrastructure to community and general practice research trials.
+ Evaluate models for the integration of web information and interventions into mainstream mental health services.
+ Promote and integrate quality health sites internationally.

Online Self-help Programs for Mental Health e-hub provides web services free of charge to the public. Click here to download a flier describing these programs (pdf, 45kb).

Queensland leads the Way...

Over a year ago the National Health and Hospitals Reform Commission identified the need for a national anti-stigma campaign focusing on mental health. It was one of twelve recommendations made in relation to mental health, a recommendation supported by the Federal government.

Today, a State government has taken a real step towards implementing this recommendation, at least in Queensland.

In welcoming today’s announcement of an $8.5 million commitment to the new campaign, Mr David Crosbie, CEO of the Mental Health Council of Australia said; ‘the Queensland government is to be commended for taking this important step to reduce the level of discrimination experienced by people with a mental illness and their carers. We know that discrimination is one of the reasons people do not get the help they need or the support services that could make a real difference in their lives.’

Mr Crosbie pointed out that Australia has one of the lowest levels of workforce participation in the OECD for people with a mental illness. He linked this poor performance to stigma amongst employers and the community.

‘Many people in our community have a kind of extreme stereotype of how people with a mental illness behave. These negative stereotypes lead to people with a mental illness experiencing difficulty obtaining and maintaining housing, employment, recreational opportunities, and relationships. At the very least antistigma campaigns can show people with a mental illness in a more realistic and positive way.’

Many countries around the world have implemented anti-stigma campaigns often with real impact on community attitudes to people with a mental illness. Mr Crosbie said; ‘it is important we all recognise that how we react to someone with a mental illness plays a key role in the degree to which they are able to recover and play a valuable role in our community. These campaigns are about changing our reactions to enable people with a mental illness to be able to live their lives just like you and me.’

Media Contact: Simon Tatz on 0402 613 745 or 02 6285 3100
Source: The Mental Health Council of Australia (MHCA)

Friday, June 11, 2010

$1.2 billion investment in mental health services to help the state’s most vulnerable

The Keneally Government will invest $1.231 billion in mental health services around the State, Minister Assisting on Health (Mental Health) Barbara Perry announced today.

The 2010-11 NSW Budget sees $21 million dedicated to mental health capital works.

Three more Psychiatric Emergency Care Centres (PECCs) are also due for completion. These are dedicated mental health treatment areas with specialist clinicians attached to major hospital emergency departments.

Ms Perry said completion of the three new PECCs – at Wollongong, Royal North Shore and Prince of Wales Hospitals – will bring the total number to 12 across the state... more