Monday, December 19, 2011

Positive Change – Investing in Mental Health

Mental health awareness and well being strategies are urgent public concerns. Mental illness has the third highest burden of disease in Australia with approximately 45% of adults experiencing a mental illness at some stage of their lives, including alcohol or substance abuse disorders.

The 13th International Mental Health Conference will focus on the complex mental issues affecting the elderly including depression, dementia, delirium, paranoid disorders and anxiety. It will also explore the mental health issues of young Australians (aged 18 – 24 years) struggling with schizophrenia, depression, suicidal thoughts, bipolar, anxiety disorders and drug use and drug induced psychosis. With 7% of Australian children and adolescents (aged 0 – 17 years) experiencing mental health problems and only one in four receiving professional health care, a positive change is long overdue.

The conference will examine state, federal, international and COAG initiatives, early intervention strategies, validated treatments, suicide prevention and the effectiveness of mental health preventive measures.

Featuring Australia and New Zealand's finest clinical practitioners, academics, and mental health experts the conference will motivate and inspire professionals (and future professionals) by sharing information about

• on-going research and findings, policies and organisational models
• development of new knowledge and the implementation of programs and strategies
• effective use of scarce resources

The conference will focus on:
• State, Federal and International initiatives addressing mental health needs.
• Planning and initiatives of the COAG task force.
• Research validation of early intervention strategies and treatments for drug induced psychosis, trauma and depression.
• Research validated treatments designed to facilitate recovery, particularly in the areas of depression and trauma.
• Initiatives and best practice in suicide prevention
• Examine and critically review the effectiveness of preventive approaches used in the field of mental health
Keynote addresses, submitted papers, workshops and case studies will examine how approaches and techniques can be incorporated into daily practise.

The conference streams will include:
• Multi-level Government initiatives and policies
• Early interventions
• Recovery treatments
• Prevention treatments (including suicide)
• Workforce re-integration – best practice? What treatments are most efficacious

Visit the conference website
The 13th International Mental Health Conference
6th to the 8th of August 2012
Outrigger Inn (formerly Holiday Inn) Gold Coast, Qld

Monday, November 14, 2011

250 Delegates from over 100 regional and rural towns meet in Ballarat for mental health symposium

Through an impressive line up of key note speakers, the topics covered will analyse what is being done, and what needs to be done to better meet the mental health needs of rural and remote populations. Speakers attending the symposium include Prof Patrick McGorry AO Australian of the Year 2010, Centre for Youth Mental Health at the University of Melbourne as well as local and Dr Norm Barling.

Monday 14 November

250 Delegates from Australia and New Zealand are attending the 2011 Rural Mental Health Symposium this week in Ballarat.  The symposium will examine how mental health professionals prepare themselves, their clients and their communities, to deal more effectively with future negative occurrences in rural and remote areas.  The debate as to whether resources of government, mental health professionals and emergency services could be better utilised will also be tackled.

Dr Norm Barling is a Private Practitioner based in Queensland and is a member of the Australian Psychological Society Colleges of Clinical and Forensic Psychologists.

Dr Barling was a university educator in Psychology for over 36 years, initially at the University of Ballarat, and later as an Associate Professor at Bond University. He continues to pursue his interests in education and professional development by contributing his expertise to the annual International Mental Health Conference. His interest in Rural and Remote Mental Health issues developed during the 23 years he spent at the University of Ballarat and his involvement in their Institute of Regional and Rural Research.

Chair of Ballarat Regional Tourism Stuart Benjamin commented on the importance of Ballarat hosting this event, “with an anticipated 50% of attendees travelling from surrounding areas, interstate and internationally it’s a great opportunity to highlight and build Ballarat’s reputation not only as a conference and event hub but as a quality tourism destination both nationally and abroad.”