The report, Mental Health Services in Australia 2003-04, includes details of care provided by community mental health services, hospitals, general practitioners and private psychiatrists. It also includes information on mental health-related disability support services and supported accommodation services.
Posted:Dec 22, 2005 Study Links Teen Health, Early Stress
November 30, 2005
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) -- Stress from abuse or neglect early in life may be linked to increased mental health problems during adolescence, according to a new study based on animal research.
Children who have suffered abuse, neglect, or loss of a parent have an increased risk behavioral and emotional problems, including attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder, anxiety, depression, suicide and drug abuse, according to Oregon Health & Science University researchers.
The study was based on rhesus macaque monkeys that were exposed to a stressful event before they were raised in a stable family environment.
"By studying a species that has responses to early-life stresses that are very similar to young children, we can get a developmental picture that is much clearer than in humans," said Judy Cameron, a senior scientist at the OHSU Oregon National Primate Research Center.
Interpretations of human studies are often difficult because children experiencing early-life stresses frequently are exposed to many other situations that can influence behavior, Cameron said.
Posted:Dec 8, 2005 Mental health project is changing lives (NZ)
By Kathryn Powley
While some kids dream of going to Disneyland, becoming a sports star or joining a rock band, others would dearly love the courage to catch a public bus, venture outside or simply go shopping.
Young Whangarei residents with those deceptively simple goals are tapping into what is shaping up to be a "brilliant" life-changing mental health pilot programme.
Northcare Trust community youth worker Dennis Murphy sees himself as a "life coach" to the 10 people, aged 10-18, he has been mentoring for six months.
He said they could be diagnosed as having schizophrenia, depression, Asperger's disorder or other mental illnesses, but those were often "unhelpful labels".
"I'm working with what's right with somebody, not what's wrong with them. Despite their diagnoses, there're still a lot of hopes, dreams, opportunities, hobbies and goals."
For people not confident socially and who feared leaving the house, with Mr Murphy's support they would "set goals of graduated exposure". That could start with walking from home to the letterbox and back. The next stage could be walking a bit further - out the gate to a power pole and back.
"They're breaking out of a world that they've been trapped in."
Concerns over the state's fractured mental health system already have led to a new children's mental health task force, a group that proposed reform recommendations to Gov. Rod Blagojevich. Among the proposals is an infusion of $19 million to help identify and better serve more sick children.
In its initial report, the task force mentions that families shouldn't have to consider giving up custody or turning to the juvenile justice system just to get mental health services.
However, the group has yet to take up the custody issue in its reform proposals, and lawmakers haven't made it a priority. Many lawmakers specializing in child welfare issues said they didn't know parents were forced to relinquish custody but added that children's mental health has long been pushed aside.
"It's just been years of neglect," said state Rep. David Leitch (R-Peoria), who serves on the human services committee. "No governor has made it a priority."
Dr. Peter Nierman, who recently stepped down as deputy director of the Illinois Department of Mental Health, put it more bluntly: "The state simply does not have the capacity or the resources to deal with all these kids."