Issues 80, September 2007


Mental Health Promotion in Schools
Karen Stafford, Program Manager, Hunter Institute of Mental Health, Newcastle, NSW
Mental health promotion in schools has the potential to improve academic achievement, behaviour and health outcomes.

Nutrients, New Foods and New Theories
Sandra Capra, Professor of Nutrition and Dietetics, University of Newcastle, Newcastle, NSW
New recommendations for nutrient intake are linked in some cases to mental health issues.

Work and Mental Illness
David Castle, Professor and Chair of Psychiatry, St Vincent’s Health and The University of Melbourne
People with serious mental illnesses face many barriers to paid employment. Optimal treatment, and support to enter and remain in the workforce, could offer significant benefits, including social reintegration.

Depression and Chronic Physical Illness
beyondblue: the national depression initiative, Hawthorn, Victoria
Chronic illness can be both physically and mentally debilitating, particularly for young people. Tess Pryor explains the link between chronic disease and depression.

Young People and Substance Use Problems
Rosemary Purcell,1,2 Dan Lubman,1 Leanne Hides1 and Peter Orchard2
1ORYGEN Research Centre, University of Melbourne, Parkville, Victoria
2headspace: The National Youth Mental Health Foundation, Parkville, Victoria
Substance use and mental health disorders are prevalent among young people. The headspace initiative aims to help meet the challenge with accessible and effective services.

Mind your Mind®: Risk Reduction for Alzheimer’s Disease
Anne Connor, Alzheimer’s Australia Vic., Hawthorn, Victoria
Alzheimer’s disease is now at epidemic proportions, but there is some good news. Risk reduction strategies may help to tweak your odds against developing the condition.

Suicide in Australia: Grounds for Cautious Optimism
Robert Goldney, Professor and Head, Discipline of Psychiatry, University of Adelaide, Adelaide, SA
From its peak in 1997, suicide in Australia has reduced by almost 30%. This is no reason for complacence: suicide rates still approximate historical levels over the past 100 years.

Pregnancy, Immunity and Schizophrenia
Paul H. Patterson, Biaggini Professor of Biological Sciences, California Institute of Technology (Caltech), California, USA
Can something as innocuous as the flu cause schizophrenia? Can a pregnant mum’s sniffles have lifelong consequences for her unborn child? The answers are indeed surprising, and may suggest new avenues for treatment or even prevention.

Rehabilitation and Recovery
Paola Mason, Co-Convenor, COMIC (Children of Mentally Ill Consumers), Mental Health Resource Centre, Keswick, Adelaide, South Australia; and Carer Consultant, Australian National COPMI (Children of Parents with a Mental Illness) Initiative
As the daughter of a mentally ill parent, Paola Mason reflects on the meaning of rehabilitation and recovery.

Mental Health Triage: Caring for the Australian Community
Natisha Sands, Course coordinator, Mental Health Nursing, University of Melbourne, Parkville, Victoria
Mental health triage services play a vital role in caring for the mental health needs of the Australian public. Particularly important are telephone triage services, which offer help and support in times of personal crisis.

Electroconvulsive Therapy: A Proven and Contemporary Treatment
Colleen Loo, Associate Professor, School of Psychiatry, University of NSW, Sydney, NSW
Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is a scientifically proven and highly effective (though much misunderstood) medical treatment for depression. Colleen Loo explains and dispels some common myths about ECT.

ehub: A Virtual Recipe for Better Mental Health
Kathleen M. Griffiths, Associate Professor and Director, Depression and Anxiety Consumer Research Unit; and Co-Director, ehub: emental health research and development, Centre for Mental Health Research, Australian National University, Canberra, ACT
Access to mental health services doesn’t have to involve a waiting room, a pharmaceutical script or face-to-face counselling. Web-based applications on the Internet offer many people a practical means of finding help.

Personalised Treatment of Mental Illness
George Fink, Honorary Professorial Research Fellow (formerly Director), Mental Health Research Institute of Victoria, Parkville, Victoria
Pharmacogenomics is the study of how genetic factors influence individual responses to drugs, and offers a potentially powerful method for implementing personalised medicine. George Fink outlines its use for antipsychotic drug medication and the treatment of schizophrenia.

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