Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Drug and Alcohol Addiction

Drug and alcohol are related to 80% of mental issues. They are powerful chemicals able to change our pattern of thought and our behaviour. Most of us would have experienced in our lifetime the effect of these powerful drugs on the brain chemicals.

According to the Human Givens model the reasons why humans are not only attracted to them and enjoy a glass of wine but become addicted to alcohol and drugs is because of the unmet psychological needs. Addiction is a trance state and unless the psychological needs are met via other means the addiction will continue. The way to deal with it is to break the trans-state.

Studies conducted in addicted lab rats or soldiers returning from Vietnam showed that once their physical or psychological needs were met their addiction stopped without any further help.

Negative thoughts of isolation and withdrawal from problems and responsibilities are typical of the addictive behaviour.

The neurochemical systems mediating motivation and reward are the dopamine and the opioid one. Dopamine is appetitive opioid is consumatory.

According to the neurochemical model the amygdala is the organ deputised to advice the brain of the lack in a chemical substance, can be nicotine, alcohol or any addictive chemical. Once the system is activated a distressing signal is sent to the anterior cingulate where it is analised and pattern matched to previous events in the lymbic system for significance.

If that is significant a further signal will be sent to the neocortex to decide on the way of action, otherwise an immediate response will follow and before the concious mind can realise what is happening an action will be taken (i.e. lighting a cigarette before we can contiously realise it).
a) change lifestyle
b) plan for high risk situations
c) counter-condition expectations

Dr Angelo Cacciato is a GP working in a rural setting in New Zealand. He moved to Waikanae in April 2007 after spending thirteen years in UK.

He started developing an interest in Mental Health during his military service in Italy in1989.
Once he moved in Britain he got involved in a rotation to complete his postgraduate studies in General Practice. As part of his rotation he joined the psychiatric unit at Royal Doncaster Infirmary where he worked for six months.

Once he completed his medical studies he started working in the Yorkshire region, and the settings of General practice allowed him to become involved in psychotherapy with the Mindfields College.
After completing the course in Human Givens therapy he got his qualifications in psychotherapy in 2007 and the same year he achieved the prestigious postgraduate diploma of the Mindfields College.

He is the only Human Givens therapist working in New Zealand and will speak at the:
12th International Mental Health Conference
Radisson Resort, Gold Coast - Wednesday 24th August – Friday 26th August 2011.               

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Mental Health and Family Law

Mental Health clinicians are frequently called upon to make assessments for the Family Court. Often issues regarding parental responsibility or custody arrangements hinge upon the assessments of care giver mental health and the resources required to ensure mental health maintenance.

This paper will use a case vignette approach to illustrate the need for longitudinal assessment and case formulation over more traditional cross sectional approaches. recomendations for both clinician training and further research will be made by the presenters;

Dr. Mitchell Byrne is an endorsed Clinical and Forensic Psychologist with over 25 years experience. His research profile includes adherence to treatment, secondary traumatic stress, risk assessment and, more recently, the assessment of parenting skills.

Ms. Cinzia Gagliardi is an endorsed Clinical and Forensic Psychologist and Director of Gagliardi, Byrne and Associates, a Forensic Assessment and Treatment service. Ms. Gaglairdi is NSW State Chair of the Australian Psychological Society and is frequently called upon to provide expert evidence in the Family Court.

The 12th International Mental Health Conference 2011 
Radisson Resort, Gold Coast - Wednesday 24th August – Friday 26th August 2011. 

Friday, June 3, 2011

Making Sense of Complex Presentations - The Black Dog Institute's online Mood Assessment Program (online MAP)

Workshop at the The 12th International Mental Health Conference 2011Radisson Resort, Gold Coast - Wednesday 24th August – Friday 26th August 2011. 

Increasingly the burden of management of patients with mood and personality disorders has fallen onto general practitioners. Even in large cities there are not enough psychiatrists to adequately care for the number of mentally ill in the community. Nor is it necessarily appropriate for all the depressed and anxious people in the population to be seeing a specialist.

General practitioners as a group, rural GPs in particular, express significant uncertainty around the management of mental health problems, especially the complex ones. Psychiatric second opinions are not always easily available

The Black Dog Institute’s online Mood Assessment Program (MAP) provides GPs and psychologists with a way of accessing a second opinion quickly and easily. It can assist in treatment planning for patients with mood disorders and help tease out the contribution of personality style to their illness. The online MAP is a suite of well validated psychological instruments which, in conjunction with their own clinical assessment, provides the practitioner with guidance based on the Black Dog Subtyping Model of Depression. MAP diagnoses, once confirmed clinically, have clear treatment implications.

A MAP report provides an indication of the subtype of depression the patient is suffering from, the likelihood of bipolar disorder, the presence of anxiety disorders and the presence of both personality vulnerability and dysfunctionality.

The online MAP is easy for patients to access by logging on to a secure website with an access code provided by a registered referrer. Reports, though not available immediately, reach most referrers well within a week. Patients find the online MAP easy to complete, usually in less than an hour. Practitioners find the reports helpful either in reinforcing and supporting their own diagnosis or in clarifying muddy diagnostic waters.

The Black Dog Institute provides the online MAP free of charge Australia-wide as a community service.

Dr Jan Orman, GP Sevices Consultant, Black Dog Institute

The HESTA Primary Health Care Awards

The HESTA Primary Health Care Awards is an initiative of HESTA Super Fund – your health and community services industry fund and the Australian General Practice Network (AGPN).  ME Bank is also a  proud supporter of the awards.
The first awards will be hosted in 2011 by HESTA in conjunction with AGPN and will form part of the 2011 AGPN National Forum, to be held in Melbourne in November.

There are three categories which cover the wide range of professions and skills that Australia’s primary health care personnel exhibit, sometimes in trying circumstances and environments. If you know outstanding contributors to primary health care, recognise their innovation and leadership by nominating them for one of three awards: Young Leader, Individual Distinction, or Team Excellence.

For more information or to access the nomination forms follow this link