Saturday, February 26, 2011

Depression May Worsen Over Time in Addiction-Prone Women

FRIDAY, Feb. 25 (HealthDay News)
by -- Robert Preidt
Depression symptoms increase over time for women in their 30s and 40s who are prone to addiction problems and antisocial behavior, researchers report.

The new study looked at how personal history, family life and neighborhood instability affected alcoholism symptoms in 273 women over a 12-year period during their early years of marriage and motherhood. The participants lived in the U.S. Midwest.

While alcohol problems and antisocial behavior declined over time, depression symptoms increased among the women. The study also found that the women's partner's and children's problems also had an effect on them. For example, women's symptoms and behaviors worsened if their partner also struggled with addiction and antisocial behavior, such as trouble with the law.

And negative behaviors in their children, such as acting out and getting into trouble, tended to increase the mothers' alcohol problems and antisocial behavior. In addition, the mothers' depression increased when children were sad or isolated.

The researchers also found that the women's alcoholism and depression levels were higher if they lived in an unstable neighborhood, where residents frequently moved in and out.

The study was published in the current online edition of the journal Development and Psychopathology.

"Our findings demonstrate the complexity of the factors affecting changes in alcohol problems, antisocial behavior and depression for these women," senior author Robert Zucker, a professor of psychiatry and psychology at the University of Michigan Medical School and director of the U-M Addiction Research Center, said in a University of Michigan Health System news release.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Skills for Psychological Recovery: basic and effective strategies to manage common psychological issues following disaster


A significant proportion of people experience a range of psychological issues and distress in the months after a disaster. Many of the people affected in this way can be assisted by primary care and mental health professionals using brief but effective strategies. The Skills for Psychological Recovery (SPR) protocol was developed as an evidence-informed resource for use by health and mental health personnel of varying backgrounds and qualifications. The protocol is intended to be used in a flexible manner depending on the person’s needs, and to allow for a single session contact or contact over multiple sessions.

This workshop will provide participants with an opportunity to learn about the SPR protocol, and to practice some key skills involved in providing this type of assistance to those affected by disaster.

The workshop will be part of 3rd Rural & Remote Mental Health Symposium, "Impacts & Outcomes"
Mercure, Ballarat 14th – 16th November 2011, visit the website for more information.

The Occurence Of Depression Increasing During Financial Crisis Due To Income Inequalities

Due to the recent economic crisis, an increase of health inequalities between socio-economic groups has been noticed in both developed and developing countries.

The World Health Organization, the World Bank and the United Nations Development Programme have all reported these inequalities and emphasized its importance and made this issue a priority. There is evidence that such inequalities not only affect general health, but have a particular impact on mental health.

A new study, published in World Psychiatry, the official journal of the World Psychiatric Association (WPA), examined the data of the Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (KHANES), for the period between 1998 and 2007. The aim of the study was to measure income-related inequalities in depression, suicidal ideation and suicide attempts in South Korea and to trace their changes over a 10-year period (1998-2007).

This study shows that the three psychopathologies (depression, suicidal ideation and suicide attempts) were more highly concentrated in lower income groups across years. This inequality observed was more pronounced in recent years, especially for suicide attempt. This means that the lowest income groups have the highest risk of depression, suicidal ideation and suicidal attempt.

Moreover, during this period, the suicide rate rose dramatically from an average of 13.0 per 100,000 to 26.0. This is the highest rate among countries belonging to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). This may reflect an acute response to the economic crisis in the late 1990s.

This study showed clear existence of significant pro-rich inequalities in the prevalence of depression, suicidal ideation and suicide attempts. These inequalities have doubled over the past 10 years, in parallel to the widening income inequalities following the economic crisis.

Medical News Today
Francesca Sotgiu
World Psychiatric Association

The topic of the Impacts and Outcomes of the financial crisis on the mental health of Rural & Remote regions in Australia will be explored and discussed at the 3rd Rural & Remote Mental Health Symposium on the 14th - 16th November 2011 in Ballarat VIC. For further information about the symposium or to submit your abstract please visit the conference website:

Friday, February 11, 2011

Youth Ask the South Australian Government Not to Close Down Eating Disorder Unit

Young people have asked the South Australian government not to risk their lives by closing an eating disorder unit. As parliament sat for the second time this year, a second protest mounted the steps of parliament house to complain about Premier Mike Rann's government.

On Monday, it was more than 50 logging trucks and a thousand people protesting plans to sell off future forestry harvests. On Tuesday, Georgia Taylor, 22, urged the Labor government not to move patients at a special unit at Flinders Hospital to a psychiatric unit that caters for a range of disorders.

She says she lost friends when she struggled with anorexia nervosa and she wanted to eat but didn't know how, until she went to ward 4G. "They teach you how to change the voices in your head, basically, and make you be able to eat and not abuse food in a bad way and you learn to like food and be able to enjoy life," she said.

Ms Taylor was scared when she was once put in a locked ward with patients with range of psychiatric disorders.

Liza Kappelle

February 9, 2011

The topic of Eating Disorders will be discussed and explored at the 12th International Mental Health Conference 'Personality Disorders - Out of the Darkness' on the Gold Coast, 24th - 26th August 2011

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Mental illness can bring a massive paycut

Danny Rose, AAP From Sydney Morning Herald February 1, 2011

Mental illness can represent a massive pay cut, according to Australian research which has calculated its cost in forcing people to leave the workforce early.

The study found people who experienced depression or other mental health problems were up to $250,000 worse off, or they had around half the accumulated wealth, compared to their healthy peers around retirement age.

Professor Deborah Schofield said it showed how mental health problems had not only a major impact on a person's wellbeing and family life but also on their career earnings - and so their level of independence in old age. "We expected to see a gap but not such a big gap," said Prof Schofield, from the University of Sydney and who led the joint research effort with the University of Canberra.

"What it shows us is that if you do have mental illnesses your chances of being in the labour force are much, much lower and so, as a result, you have much less capacity to save."

The research analysed a nationally representative sample of more than 8000 Australians aged between 45 and 64 years. They accessed each participant's employment, income, and accumulated wealth in savings, property and other financial investments.

There were 99 participants who were found to have retired early due to debilitating mental health problems. Those with depression were found to have a mean value of $236,000 in wealth while those with other conditions - such as schizophrenia or an anxiety disorder - had just $148,000. This was compared to $398,000 accumulated by a worker who had no mental health or other chronic health problems.