#mindthefacts youth campaign

Marriage equality could “prevent 3000 teen suicide attempts a year”, youth support groups say. ReachOut, Headspace, Orygen, the Black Dog Institute and Sydney University’s Brain and Mind Centre have joined forces to campaign in favour of same-sex marriage under #mindthefacts 

Reports NDIA rejecting those with serious mental illness

Peak mental health services body VICSERV reports significant numbers of people with serious mental illness are being rejected by the National Disability Insurance Agency, despite being diagnosed with psychosocial disability and significant functional impairment. VICSERV has called on the Commonwealth and the NDIA to take action. 

More treatment and research for youth mental health

Victorian Mental Health Minister Martin Foley announced construction will commence on a new youth mental health and research facility in Parkville. The centre will house clinical, research, policy, education and training services aimed at improving the mental health of young people. It will be operated by the National Centre of Excellence in Youth Mental Health and the Orygen Youth Health program.  

New drugs added to PBS

Thousands are set to benefit from changes to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme, which has seen 1400 drugs added to the list to make them cheaper. One of the drugs, REXULTI, is an antipsychotic used to treat Schizophrenia, which affects about 285,000 Australians. It had cost $1700, but has a new subsidised price of $38.

Most visit doctor for mental health issues 

The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) says Australians are now going to the doctor with mental health issues more than any other health concern. President Dr Bastian Seidel said mental health issues, including depression, mood disorders and anxiety, dominated GPs’ time.
“It is psychological issues GPs are dealing with most of the time,” Dr Seidel said. Mental health was cited as a top-three issue by 65 per cent of female doctors and 53 per cent of male GPs in the RACGP’s benchmark annual report, General Practice: Health of the Nation 2017.

LGBTI services funded

The Victorian Government announced $550,000 for additional mental health support to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people in light of increased demand for support since the marriage equality survey began. Services will be delivered by a range of organisations.

Feedback on new disability scheme

The Victorian Government wants input into a new registration and accreditation scheme designed to protect people with disabilities. The new scheme will protect vulnerable people and help ensure workers have the right skills, experience and qualifications.

Website focused on patient-centred care

There’s a new on online resource featuring accounts from those with lived experience of mental illness, along with perspectives from carers and health professionals, called Healthtalk Australia. Produced by researchers, the site is dedicated to improving community health through the stories of service users, carers and health professionals. 

Study hoping to crack depression genetic code

The Australian Genetics of Depression Study, conducted by Royal Brisbane Hospital, aims to identify genetic risk factors of clinical depression. Hoping to be the largest research project of its kind, more than 10,000 people are still needed to reach the target of 20,000 participants. Volunteers must be aged over 18. 

Events:

VICSERV NDIS and Mental Health Forum 9.30am-4pm, Thursday 26 October, Melbourne
ACOSS National Conference, 24-25 October, Melbourne
QCOSS Conference, Dream it. Do it. 31 October- 1 November, Brisbane
Community Mental Health Australia Conference, Towards a Good Life, 16-17 November, Sydney