Archive for August, 2010

Our annual mental health conference is fast approaching and I thought over the next couple of days I would share some of our upcoming highlights and abstracts from the conference.

TheMHS Keynote – Anthony D. Mancini                                            

Wednesday 15/9/2010 From: 1000 To: 1100  Venue: Bayside Auditorium B – L1

Keynote Presentation:  Infusing Recovery Principles into Public Policy, Program Design, and Clinical Intervention.

Recovery-oriented practice is an increasingly important concept in mental health services research and policy-making (Davidson, O’Connell, Tondora, Styron, & Kangas, 2006) . However, it is not always clear what is mean by ‘recovery-oriented’ practice.

This lack of lack clarity has hampered the translation of recovery ideas into policy recommendations, program design, and routine clinical practices.  In this presentation, I derive a theoretical framework for recovery from self-determination theory (Ryan & Deci, 2000) and recent research on human flourishing (Fredrickson & Losada, 2005).

I discuss the conceptual overlap of self-determination theory and recovery ideas, and, using key motivational concepts, develop a typology of recovery-oriented practices for three hypothetical program types (controlling, traditional/paternalistic and recovery oriented).

I then integrate these ideas on self-determination with emerging data on how and under what conditions human beings flourish. I apply this formulation of recovery to three levels of the mental health delivery system: policy initiatives, program design, and clinical intervention, considering specific recommendations to enhance recovery-oriented practice at each level.

Learning objectives: 1.Attendees will gain a detailed understanding of and theoretical background on recovery-oriented practice. 2.The presentation will include concrete recommendations for enhancing recovery-oriented practices in policy intervention, program design, and strategies of clinical intervention.

References: Davidson, L., O’Connell, M., Tondora, J., Styron, T., & Kangas, K. (2006). The top ten concerns about recovery encountered in mental health system transformation. Psychiatric Services, 57, 640-645.Fredrickson, B. L., & Losada, M. F. (2005). Positive Affect and the Complex Dynamics of Human Flourishing. American Psychologist, 60(7), 678-686.Ryan, R. M., & Deci, E. L. (2000). Self-determination theory and the facilitation of intrinsic motivation, social development, and well-being. American Psychologist, 55(1), 68-78.

Conference Details

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The Australian College of Mental Health Nurses has criticised the piecemeal approach to mental health services in the country.

The comments come as 400 mental health nurses converge on Hobart for their international conference, starting today.

The group’s chief executive Kim Ryan says fixing mental health has to be about more than individual programs.

She says that while money is invested into individual mental health programs, such as those for youth or aged care, access to mental health care needs to be available to all sufferers.

“We can open all the mental health units we like, we can come up with all the programs we like, but unless we have an adequately skilled and trained mental health workforce to provide those services, it wont make any difference,” she said.

“There needs to be a strong commitment to the development of an adequate mental health workforce.”

Ms Ryan, says HECS fees should be waived for nursing students who specialise in mental health to encourage more skilled people into the industry.

“There does need to be significant resource and investment to try to make the health care services in the future of the 21st century more appropriate to the consumer,” she said.

(Source: ABC Online)

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TheMHS Annual Mental Health Conference

14 – 17 September 2010 

Sydney Convention Centre, Darling Harbour, Sydney, NSW

20 years strong: and now a renaissance

Rebirth and renewal, lessons from history,mental health service reform, social justice and social inclusion, clinical issues, policies, funding, research, citizenship and lived experience, digital innovations

TheMHS Keynote Speakers:

Alain Topor (Sweden), Leonie Manns (Australia), Anthony Mancini (USA)

This year TheMHS is joined by the NSW Transcultural Mental Health Centre (TMHC) who will be holding their conference within TheMHS

TMHC Speakers:

Derrick Silove (Australia), Peppe Dell Acqua (Italy)



Full Fee Registration deadline:

9 September 2010

Presenters Registration deadline:

2 September 2010

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 Conference Program

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Featured Symposia

Tuesday Workshops



Read our Blog: Mental Health Connect

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Each week at Mental Health Connect we are reading a variety of information and we like to stay abreast of  both national and international publications.

Today we have two items that we thought we worth sharing. 

The first is an article from the Guardian in the UK entitled The Trouble with mental health treatment which is an interview with outspoken psychologist and champion for mentally ill people Rachel Perkins.

The second item is a newsletter from the UK called Like Minds.  The newsletter  contains a mixture of service development , service user and carer stories, snippets of national mental health and learning disability news, the latest foundation trust news and also tips on how to look after your mental wellbeing.

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Many Faces, Many Places: Suicide Prevention Across the World” World Suicide Prevention Day on September 10 is an annual event sponsored by the International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP) in collaboration with the World Health Organization.

This year the theme for World Suicide Prevention Day is “Many Faces, Many Places: Suicide Prevention Across the World”.

Read more about this on Lifeline Australias website

View some new WHO booklets regarding suicide prevention:
(1) The updated media guidelines completed by the IASP Media Task force: Preventing Suicide: a Resource for Media Professionals

(2) The revised booklet prepared by the IASP Postvention Task Force: How to Start a Survivors’ Group

Join the  International Association for Suicide Prevention Facebook page

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Our annual mental health conference is fast approaching and yes we have some great national and international speakers BUT we also have an amazing lineup of featured symposia (listed below).

If you have not already registered for the largest Australasian mental health conference  please register online remember it starts on September 14!

1.   Mental Health Online will showcase a range of new media technologies and will highlight the benefits and drawbacks of such web-based programs.  With the expanding use of digital media for social networking, linking communities, education and research, there are increasing numbers of online sites that provide mental health information, education and treatment.  Some examples of highly respected online programs will be presented as well as the research and evaluation of these programs.  Speakers include: Professor Gavin Andrews (CRUFAD – NSW), Elizabeth Fudge (COPMI – SA), Kerry Graham (Inspire – NSW) and Martin Patfield (Greater West Area Health Service, NSW)

2.   Social Business and Social Entrepreneurs: Convergence in the Public, Non-Profit and For-Profit Sectors  
Social entrepreneurs have achieved revolutionary results in countries around the world, and Australia is experiencing a surge in seed funding for Social Businesses in the community sector. This symposium brings together Social Enterprise research, the Federal Government and Australian Community Managed Organisations, currently engaged in establishing “Profits For Purpose.”   Speakers include: Senator Ursula Stephens (Parliamentary Secretary for Social Inclusion and Volunteering), Cheryl Kernot (Director of Social Business, The Centre for Social Impact, Uni NSW), Toby Hall (CEO, Mission Australia), Phil Nadin (CEO, Psychiatric Rehabilitation Aust.)

3. Leaders of the past and leaders of the future.  
This symposium will examine the consumer movement’s ongoing leadership dilemmas.  Consumers in leadership positions in Australia and New Zealand present an interactive session to discuss issues such as representation, consumer employees, advocacy, mentoring and leadership styles.  In keeping with the Conference theme of 20 years strong and now a renaissance the speakers will look back at history and forward to the future.

4.  The Healing Power of Creativity
The Arts Therapies are a very effective method in assisting people with mental health problems towards recovery.  They are a particularly helpful tool for a number of specific emotional and wellbeing needs. Experienced arts therapists will highlight the clinical advantages of using these modalities, including current research in the areas of grief and loss, preventative work for adolescents at risk and their families, and existential questions for older adults. This is a unique opportunity for consumers, carers and professionals to learn and to meet with these therapists who use creative modalities to access the healing power of creativity Speakers include: Joanna Jaaniste (Dramatherapy – dementia, spirituality, older people), Maree Brogden (Art Psychotherapy – forensic psychiatry), Patricia Watts (Voice Therapy- loss & grief), Patricia Casben (Music Therapy- work with emotionally disturbed children), Adrian Lania (Dramatherapy – schools), Deborah Chisholm.

5.    Research informing practice; new frontiers in translational research in Mental Health
This symposium will highlight a range of ‘hot topics’ in mental health research, identifying key developments in genetics, neuro-imaging, and novel therapeutics with the potential to enhance future treatments. Find out how a simple brain wave test may one-day help to identify risk for schizophrenia, how cannabis really impacts the brain, how genetic advances could help to personalise drug treatments, and how a simple hormone may help people with a range of mental health issues improve their social functioning. Speakers include: A/Prof Philip Ward (UNSW), A/Prof Murat Yucel (Melbourne Neuropsychaitry Centre/Orygen), Prof Ma-Li Wong (John Curtin School of Medical Research), Adam Guastella (BMRI, Uni Sydney), Daniel Nicholls (UWS).

6.  Building stronger, healthier communities for the next 20 years.
This symposium focuses on building sustainable and culturally responsive mental health services and programs across the State of NSW.  The current NSW Multicultural Mental Health Plan promotes and supports essential partnerships between policy makers, mental health service providers, specialist transcultural mental health services, non-government agencies and culturally diverse populations to achieve stronger and healthier communities.  Speakers include:  Regina Osten (NSW MHDAO), Prof Brian Kelly (CRRMH, Uni Newcastle), Neda Dusevic (InforMH) & Roy Laube (Transcultural Mental Health Centre).


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This morning I came across some videos from a Melbourne event called The Brain That Changes Itself part of a public lecture series.

Dr Norman Doidge, author of bestselling book The Brain That Changes Itself in these videos discusses his research and the discovery of neuroplasticity,

Read the blogpost and view the inspiring videos featuring Dr Norman Doidge here

You can also read more by viewing his own website

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Two items crossed my desk this morning  which made me think about loneliness and society today.

The first was a recent paper in the US journal Public Library of Science: Medicine highlighting how instances of loneliness can increase mortality. The paper said “The Public Library of Science study looked at data from 148 previous studies and con-cluded that social relationships lead to a longer life. The negative effect of loneliness on people’s well-being is comparable to the impact of excessive smoking and alcohol, and exceeds the effects of no exercise or obesity. The report’s authors have called on the media and public, as well as social services and medical professionals, to take loneliness seriously”.  You can read the full paper here .

Then in my inbox appeared information called Circles of Support – a national series of workshop exploring two practical DIY social inclusion tools – Street by Street, and Circles of Support .

Street by Street – This was described as ” a simple way of linking up people who live in the same street or nearby for mutual support in practical helping tasks such as taking the bin in and out, hanging washing, getting a few items from the shops, or getting mail from the letter box.

Their  goal is 100 auspiced Street by Street groups by the end of 2010. And 1000 by 2011. Community centres, service clubs, neighbourhood houses, community health centres, scout and guide groups, and voluntary associations are some of the organisations participating in auspicing a local Street by Street initiative.

 Circles of Support – this is described as a key strategy to make social inclusion work for people with disabilities, people with mental illnesses, vulnerable children and families, young people in foster care, single young parents, and others struggling with social isolation.
Both initiatives are managed by the COMMUNITY BUILDING NATIONAL NETWORK – the Community Building National Network connects community initiators and leaders, support practitioners, researchers, policy makers, and others who are interested in authentic community building work. There is no cost to participate in the Network.  You can read more about the Community Building National Network here.

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Last Thursday 12 August, a letter (in a poster form) was launched by Professor Pat McGorry and supporting organisations in Canberra.

View the  ABC News coverage  http://www.abc.net.au/news/video/2010/08/12/2981464.htm

In conjunction with the poster, a video version was put together with nine carers and consumers reading various parts of the letter.

The video is available at: http://www.youtube.com/user/MentalHealthReform#p/a

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Did you know that TheMHS has a Twitter account? You can reach us here http://www.twitter.com/themhsorg

Each day we are tweeting the best mental health information from around the world. It is a great way to stay up to date on policies, treatments and more.  The following is a sample of our tweets from today and its only midday!:

themhsorg 10:40am via HootSuite @TimeToChange tackle #mentalhealth stigma – UK’s biggest initiative with a focus on physical activity http://ow.ly/2renN
themhsorg 10:00am via HootSuite Japanese Government to Make #Mentalhealth Exams Part of Checkups Conducted by Companies http://ow.ly/2rbwA
themhsorg 9:58am via HootSuite RT @papakelt: Young men not seeking #mentalhealth help – ABC News http://bit.ly/9UIF1l
themhsorg 9:46am via HootSuite RT @Inspire_AUS: Devastating story on the repercussions of the lack of services for the mentally ill in Mt Gambier http://bit.ly/9zJ4u2
themhsorg 9:45am via HootSuite RT @in2mh: New: list of 10 Mental Health elearning, courses and instruction sites http://bit.ly/mhlearn #mentalhealth #psychology
themhsorg 9:05am via HootSuite RT @depression_news: Lack of B Vitamin Linked to Depression in Women, Dementia in Both Sexes – AOL Health (blog) – http://helib.org/3QO
themhsorg 8:40am via HootSuite RT @mentalcapital: RT @tobite: Update: European Conference on Internet and Mental Health #mh2011 http://bit.ly/b4nTVc #mentalhealth
themhsorg 8:29am via HootSuite Many Depressed People Have Mild, Brief Episodes of Mania – NIMH study #mentalhealth http://ow.ly/2rzUG
themhsorg 8:26am via HootSuite Falling short on health policy article by Melissa Sweet on ABC The Drum http://ow.ly/2rzRu #mentalhealth

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