promoting mental health for young Australians

Australian Infant, Child, Adolescent and Family Mental Health Association Ltd
ABN 87 093 479 022

AICAFMHA E-News in Brief Issue # 8.02

News in Brief - Issue # 8.02 (Feb 28, 2008)


2020 Youth Summit
The Rudd Government has announced a 2020 Youth Summit which will take place in April 2008 in the lead up to the Australia 2020 Summit. Young people aged between 15-24 can nominate before 5th March 2008. More details are in the Mental Health News section or on the Australia 2020 website

Monica McEvoy, Multicultural Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Candidate has been involved in consultations with Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) communities as well as workers in the field. Through these consultations it has been suggested that a network of Multicultural CAMHS Workers in Australia be established. The aims of the network would be to promote the work done by child and adolescent mental health services in CALD communities, to share resources, experiences and expertise, and to provide an opportunity for support and networking.
AICAFMHA have offered communication strategies to assist the network. If you are interested in joining the network, please contact Monica McEvoy at CAMHS Western, Port Adelaide Ph: (08) 8341 1222 Email

What's On

The Events Calendar keeps you up to date, with what's happening in Australia and around the world.
New Events in our database are listed below.

Event Name: Parents, Families and Carers: Our place in the human services, our agenda for change.
Event Dates: Mar 17, 2008 - Mar 18, 2008

Event Name: Shari Barkin Workshops 2008: Family Violence Prevention
Event Dates: Mar 20, 2008 - Mar 28, 2008

Event Name: The Australian Health Promoting Schools Conference
Event Dates: Apr 2, 2008 - Apr 4, 2008

Event Name: 11th World Congress World Association for Infant Mental Health
Event Dates: Aug 1, 2008 - Aug 5, 2008

Why not browse through all the Events we have listed and if you have an event coming up email so we can include it in our Calendar.

Mental Health News

Being Bullied Affects Kids Mental Health

Being bullied could take a toll on a kid's mental health.
A new study out of London's King College finds strong evidence that being bullied can lead to depression and anxiety. Doctors looked at identical twin pairs between the ages of seven and nine where only one of the siblings was bullied. They found the bullied twin showed significantly more symptoms of internalizing problems -- worrying, being withdrawn, and feeling overly guilty. Those symptoms, researchers say, increase the kid's risk of depression or anxiety disorders down the road. They say efforts to address bullying can be one-sided and parents and teachers need to look at the victims, too. The findings appear in this month's issue of the journal "Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine."

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2020 Youth Summit

On 18 February the Rudd Government made an exciting announcement for Youth, inviting young people from around Australia to take part in the 2020 Youth Summit.
The 2020 Youth summit aims to harness the experience, ideas and enthusiasm of Australia's young people as the Australian Government is committed to young people being 'at the table' when the long-term challenges of our country are discussed. It will take place in Canberra on 12 and 13 April 2008 in the lead up to the Australia 2020 Summit.

100 young people (15 to 24 years of age) from across the country will discuss the ten critical areas on the agenda for the Australia 2020 summit, as well as options for the establishment of an ongoing Australian Youth Forum.
The ten critical areas of discussion are:
* Future directions for the Australian economy - including education, skills, training, science and innovation as part of the nation's productivity agenda;
* Economic infrastructure, the digital economy and the future of our cities;
* Population, sustainability, climate change and water;
* Future directions for rural industries and rural communities;
* A long-term national health strategy - including the challenges of preventative health, workforce planning and the ageing population;
* Strengthening communities, supporting families and social inclusion;
* Options for the future of indigenous Australia;
* Towards a creative Australia: the future of the arts, film and design;
* The future of Australian governance: renewed democracy, a more open government (including the role of the media), the structure of the Federation and the rights and responsibilities of citizens; and
* Australia's future security and prosperity in a rapidly changing region and world.

Nominations close COB Wednesday 5 March 2008. Anyone between the ages of 15-24 can nominate by visiting the Australia 2020 website and downloading the nomination form.

Anne Hugo
Information manager,
Australian Clearinghouse for Youth Studies Private Bag 64 University of Tasmania Hobart Tasmania 7001
phone: +61 3 6226 2591
fax: +61 3 6226 2578

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Close Ties Between Parents And Babies Yield Benefits For Preschoolers

ScienceDaily (Feb. 7, 2008) Having close ties with parents is obviously good for preschoolers, but what does that really mean? It means that the preschoolers are better able to control their own behavior by showing patience, deliberation, restraint, and even maturity. That's the finding of a new study conducted by researchers at the University of Iowa.
The study found that children who had developed a close, positive, reciprocal, and mutually responsive relationship with their mothers in the first two years of their lives did much better in both respects--responding to their mothers' requests not to do something and regulating their own behavior--than children who hadn't developed such ties.
The researchers also explored how mutually responsive relationships between mothers and children worked. When mothers and babies develop this closeness in the first two years, the study found, mothers don't need to use forceful discipline later to get their children to do what they ask and refrain from other behaviors. And in turn, subtle control on the part of the mothers leads to better, more compliant, and more self-regulated behavior when the children are at preschool age.
"Most parents know that when they interact with their infant and young toddler, they are laying important foundations for the child's future development," according to Grazyna Kochanska, Stuit Professor of Developmental Psychology at the University of Iowa and the lead author of the study. "Now we have a better understanding of what that really means. Your investment in building a mutually responsive, positive, close relationship early on will generate considerable payoff several years later."
Journal reference: Child Development, Vol. 79, Issue 1, Mother-Child and Father-Child Mutually Responsive Orientation in the First Two Years and Children's Outcomes at Preschool Age: Mechanisms of Influence, by Kochanska, G, Aksan, N, Prisco, TR, and Adams, EE (University of Iowa).
The study was funded, in part, by the National Institute of Mental Health.

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One In 10 Teenagers Binge-drinking Each Week

February 25th 2008 Sunday Times, Perth WA. By Stephen Lunn
ONE in five 16- and 17-year-olds binge drinks every week, with booze seen as an Aussie rite of passage.
The scourge of alcohol abuse across Australia is far worse than previously thought, with nearly 500,000 children living at risk of exposure to an adult drinking at harmful levels.
The figures on cannabis use are equally disturbing, with one in seven secondary school students using the drug within the past 12 months.
Last week Kevin Rudd voiced concern about binge-drinking, saying he and Health Minister Nicola Roxon were developing strategies to combat the problem. "I would describe (it) as an epidemic of binge-drinking across the country," he said. "It is not good for young people's health and it is certainly not good in terms of coping with addictions in general."
The report recommends parents keep their children away from alcohol, and says that condoning its use can be dangerous for a child's mental and physical development. "Parents should delay the onset of alcohol use in young people as long as possible in order to avert the adverse impact of alcohol on adolescent body and brain development as well as to reduce the likelihood of high-risk alcohol use and abuse in adulthood," it concludes.
If parents did want to take steps to help their child, they should go beyond friends and family and look to professional services, public health expert Margaret Hamilton said.

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Health Promotion Journal of Australia -Focus on Mental Health

The focus for this issue is on mental health promotion. Guest editors are Lyn Walker, the Director of the Mental Health and Wellbeing Unit at VicHealth, Louise Rowling, from the Faculty of Education and Social Work, University of Sydney, New South Wales and Jennie Parham, Australian Network for Promotion, Prevention and Early Intervention for Mental Health (Auseinet), Flinders University, South Australia. Current issue

Involving Youth in Planning for Their Education, Treatment and Services

Portland Research and Training Center. While there is not as much published research on this topic as there should be, the research that is available indicates that involving youth meaningfully -and successfully -in planning for their own treatment and care is quite possible. This research also indicates that involving youth meaningfully in planning provides benefits for the youth and his or her caregivers and providers. Walker, J. S., & Child, B. (2008). Involving youth in planning for their education, treatment, and services: Research tells us we should be doing better. Download the Publication

The Effects of Childhood Stress on Health Across the Lifespan

Stress is an inevitable part of life. It helps children develop the skills they need to cope with and adapt to new and potentially threatening situations throughout life. However, the beneficial aspects of stress diminish when it is severe enough to over­whelm a child's ability to cope effectively. Intensive and prolonged stress can lead to a variety of short- and long-term negative health effects. It can disrupt early brain development and compromise functioning of the nervous and immune systems. In addition, childhood stress can lead to health problems later in life including alcoholism, depression, eating disorders, heart disease, cancer, and other chronic diseases.
The Effects of Childhood Stress on Health Across the Lifespan summarizes the research on childhood stress and its implications for adult health and well-being. Of particular interest is the stress caused by child abuse, neglect, and repeated exposure to intimate partner violence (IPV). This publication provides violence prevention practitioners with ideas about how to incorporate information on childhood stress into their work. More Information