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General News Articles

May 2018 

Job strain linked to onset of mental illness

Employers that actively seek to reduce job strain could also help curtail new cases of mental illness, according to the results of one recent study.

Small steps can lead to big change in curbing mental illness in the workplace

On a similar issue of mental health in the workplace, this Canadian article examines how some relatively small steps by employers can lead to significant changes in the mental wellness of staff.

Use of psychedelic drugs to treat mental health issues

Psychedelic drugs are generally viewed as dangerous to users; especially so for people with mental illness. However, this controversial article looks at merging evidence that psychedelics might be used for the treatment of a range of illnesses.

Good outcomes science budget 2018

With the Federal Budget fresh in our memories, this article examines some of the winners in the field of mental health research.

Crackdown on seclusion and restraint in NSW mental health units

NSW mental health units and emergency departments will be subject to tougher targets and mandatory public reporting to cut the alarming rates of psychiatric patients kept in seclusion or physically restrained.

Reality behind statistics for young people with a history of mental illness and trauma

This timely article explores some of the statistics, and the reality behind the statistics, for young people with a history of mental illness and trauma.

Creative people more prone to various mental illnesses

Creative people may be 90 per cent more likely to suffer from schizophrenia than the average person, new research suggests

Rural children and those with pets may have lower risk of mental illness

Children raised in a rural environment, surrounded by animals and bacteria-laden dust, grow up to have more stress-resilient immune systems and might be at lower risk of mental illness than pet-free city dwellers, according to new research.

Physical activity can prevent depression

Physical activity can prevent depression, across all ages and around the world, a new study has found. You may have heard before that exercise can help with mental health. Now, a big international study has the numbers to show it can actually prevent depression from developing in the first place.

Why isn't treatment for eating disorders funded properly?

Statistics show that anorexia has the highest death rate of all psychiatric illness. This article questions why treatment isn’t funded properly.

April 2018 

Inflammation linked to brain development

Inflammation caused from infection, injury and even poor diet during pregnancy may impact parts of a baby's brain associated with working memory, an international study has found.

Mental disorders are in top 3 causes of illness in children

Mental disorders are now among the leading causes of illness in children worldwide, according to new research out of Europe.

Mariah Carey's bipolar disorder disclosure matters and how talking about mental illness can help

The five-time Grammy winner Mariah Carey revealed she’d quietly struggled with bipolar disorder since her 2001 diagnosis

Current housing policy is failing the homelessness and mentally ill

A new study by Macquarie University and the Matthew Talbot Hostel Clinic reveals how the current housing policy is contributing to the problems of homelessness and mental illness. According to the research done by Macquarie University with the Matthew Talbot Hostel Clinic run by the St Vincent de Paul Society, mental illness is a serious problem among the homeless, which can be addressed by making available more low cost housing and alternative housing models.

More teens die by suicide than car crashes

Suicide has passed traffic accidents and cancer as the leading cause of teenage deaths in Queensland  for the third year in a row, prompting calls for improved mental health services.

2 new treatments for auditory verbal hallucinations (AVH)

FLORENCE, Italy — Schizophrenia patients with auditory verbal hallucinations (AVH) that have not responded to treatment may experience improvement with two cutting-edge techniques, new research shows.

How compassion can triumph over toxic childhood trauma

Adverse childhood experiences, such as abuse or neglect, can have a serious impact on people suffering these experiences. However, this articles suggests this impact may be reduced by living in a compassionate environment.

Personal story of a neuroscientist who studies mental illness

“I've studied mental illness my entire career. Yet when I began my descent into the very same sort of madness that I'd researched, I had no idea what was happening. This is the story of my journey into insanity—and back.”

March 2018 

James Packer's admission highlights the need for better mental health awareness

This week James Packer stepped down from the board of Crown Resorts and, with great honesty acknowledged that this was due to mental ill health. We have seen prominent sports people and politicians disclose before, but Mr. Packer is one of the first top business leaders to do so. In doing so he has shown leadership and courage, which will encourage many others.

Mental Health Tribunal and Compulsory Treatment Orders

Sydney Morning Herald article about recent research into the Mental Health Tribunal and compulsory treatment orders. It introduces a man by the name of John Myers, who receives a compulsory anti-psychotic treatment monthly, without his consent.

For an alternate viewpoint see the research into the effectiveness of CTOs
Community treatment orders increase community care and delay readmission while in force: Results from a large population-based study
Anthony Harris, Wendy Chen, Sharon Jones, Melissa Hulme, Philip Burgess, Grant Sara - Australian & New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, February 2018, SAGE Publishing - DOI: 10.1177/0004867418758920

What is the best treatment for Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder is a serious, highly disabling mental health condition and there have been questions about which is the best drug to treat it. This hasn’t been helped by pharmaceutical marketing which may have muddied the water.
A study of 18,000 people with bipolar disorder followed for over seven years has assessed which are the most effective medications.

Heavy smoking and risk of developing psychosis

A new study links heavy smoking to the possible risk of developing psychosis.

NDIS anguish for many with severe mental illness

The National Disability Insurance Scheme is a major reform in both the disability and mental health sectors. On full roll-out it is expected that some $22 billion per year will be spent on the scheme. However some evidence suggests that the NDIS has not been working to a sufficient level of competency for many participants.

Knitting can reduce anxiety, depression, chronic pain

Some recent evidence suggests Knitting can reduce anxiety, depression, chronic pain and slow dementia.

Friendship groups can help guard against bullying 

This article about schoolyard bullying suggests that having a strong friendship group can a help a child build resilience and lead to better mental health outcomes.

Treatment of customers with mental health challenges

Former insurance executive Patrick O’Connor has gone on the record in support of a probe into the treatment of customers with mental health challenges.

Links between childhood trauma and schizophrenia symptoms

People with schizophrenia may now benefit from more effective, tailored treatments and greater self-empowerment, thanks to research establishing a link between childhood trauma and some of schizophrenia's most common symptoms

Stem cells revealing new secrets about mental illness

In this fascinating article, scientists who have been working with stem cells and human brain cells discuss some of their research outcomes; particularly possible implications for mental illness located in the brain.

Guns, shooting, policies & politics

We have all seen the tragic images of schools in aftershock in the US – students and teachers trying to understand how ex-students have sourced assault weapons and how, possibly, they could become so alienated so as to use those weapons. This timely piece of research examines some of the policies a government may put in place to prevent such tragedies, suggesting that gun control laws do work.

February 2018 

Study of teen mental health education program

Adolescents have the highest incidence and prevalence of mental illness across the lifespan, yet the lowest engagement with treatment services, in comparison to other age groups  This can make it very difficult for parents or concerned adults to engage with an adolescent whose mental health they are concerned about. However, there does appear to be evidence that adolescents are more likely to interact with their friends and peer groups. This study aims to investigate how peer groups can be engaged to better the mental health outcomes of young people facing mental illness, through targeted education.

The impact of little things 

Evidence suggests that there are a number of key phenomena that help people with mental health issues progress towards recovery. This paper takes the interesting approach at looking at the impact of “little things”; the impact of what they call “micro-affirmations”. Micro-affirmations may range from an offhand positive comment from staff to the achievement of small personal goals. This article seeks the patient’s perspectives on how small things have helped them on their recovery journey.

Pets and mental health

Any pet owner will tell you – having a pet can increase your well-being. Be it the companionship, the fun or the unconditional love, pets can have a positive impact. But what about people with mental illness? This report seeks to synthesise the evidence regarding companion animals and the impact they can have on people with mental illness.

Stigma and nursing students

Everyone knows it. People with mental health conditions suffer stigma. This stigma may range from a mild disapproval of a person’s thoughts, feelings or behaviour, through to a complete stigmatic response, blaming the victim for being abnormal, weird, weak or dangerous. This paper seeks to explore stigmatised beliefs around mental illness held by tertiary-training nursing students.


Academic Research Articles

May 2018

Different forms of mental health interventions in schools

Mental illness can strike at a young age. Teenagers, and perhaps even children, can exhibit early signs of serious mental illness. Some may experience depression or anxiety. In light of this problem, some people advocate better mental health interventions in schools, to catch problems early and teach resilience and understanding to young people. This article critically considers a number of different forms of intervention.

Peer support for youth in distress

On the similar theme of mental illness amongst youth and young adults, this article considers some of the ways a peer support role can help out those in distress. The article canvasses a number of relevant issues, including how the peer support worker role is defined and supported, and what sort of outcomes can and should be expected once peer support is implemented as a service.

Stigma and coming out online

One of the most important, though not easiest, ways to help reduce the stigma of serious mental illness is to “come out” in front of an audience and be open about one’s condition. But what happens when the coming out is online, and the audience are the users of social media such as Facebook or Twitter? This article explores these kind of questions. 

April 2018

Social Factors affecting Personality Disorders 

Personality disorders are amongst the least understood of mental illnesses. This interesting study delves into the world of personality disorders and asks what social factors may be involved in their development.

Efficacy of “mindfulness”-based meditative practice

There is a growing body of evidence that meditation, or meditative practice, may improve mental health and wellbeing. This article sifts through some of the evidence for the efficacy of “mindfulness”-based meditative practice.

Do Children With Cats Have More Mental Health Problems

The title of this article says it all: Do Children With Cats Have More Mental Health Problems?

Ways mental illness can affect children of a parent with mental illness

Mental illness can bear a heavy burden on any family, in many different ways. This article looks at some of the ways having a parent with mental illness can affect children of that parent.

March 2018

Impact of fly-in fly-out work

Fly-in fly-out work involves workers commuting long distances to the worksite and living in provided accommodation for 1–4 weeks while on shift. While the potentially detrimental impact of this work on the health and well-being of workers has been documented, little attention has been paid to how workers, or their partners, cope with this impact. This study sought to investigate how workers and their partners negotiate the impact of fly-in fly-out work on their mental health and well-being.

Patient safety in mental health

It is a story oft-told, but little heeded. There is, by proportion of those with illness, too much attention paid to physical healthcare and insufficient attention paid to mental health care. And evidence suggests that the lessons of good physical health care does not apply well to mental health care. This study seeks to overcome these problems by seeking to identity future research priorities in the fields of patient safety in mental health.

Have you heard of the SDGs?

They are called the Sustainable Development Goals, and they were adopted by world leaders in 2015. Importantly the goals included a clause that refers to mental illness: a commitment to prioritise  “prevention and treatment of non-communicable diseases, including behavioural development and neurological disorders, which constitute a major challenge to sustainable development”. In other words, these leaders have recognised the importance of good mental health to broader goals in sustainable development. This article looks at these issues in depth.

Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Obstructive Sleep Apnea can be a serious challenge for the many people who may suffer it at some time in their lives. It can lead to tiredness, insomnia, irritability and sub-par aptitude at work and daily activities. However, there may be a darker side to sleep apnea. This article explores the growing evidence of links between sleep apnea, disturbed sleep and possible mental illness.

February 2018

MH impact on carers of those living with schizophrenia

Mental illness can be frightening, difficult and challenging experience for people experience the illness. People need treatment and love and support. However, it is a little less clear how mental illness can impact upon the lives and well-being of care-givers. In light of this issue, this article seeks to examined the burden of care, quality of life and mental health of people caring for a loved one with schizophrenia.