The Health News Australia October 13 2017

  • When Julia Gillard left politics in 2013, she didn’t have to look further than her own family for inspiration about what to do next. Gillard in July replaced Jeff Kennett as the Chair of beyondblue, one of the country’s leading authorities on mental health. It took only three days to set out her stall: tackling Australia’s suicide crisis. About eight Australians take their own lives each day.
  • The Australasian College for Emergency Medicine (ACEM) has been cleared of racial discrimination in the testing of candidates. But the college has been told it must overhaul its clinical testing regime, after the review said it held real “concerns for the health and wellbeing” of doctors who are failed without reason after years of expensive and demanding training. Earlier this year, a group of foreign-trained doctors complained the college was marred by systemic racism, which was greatly reducing their chances of passing.
  • An international study found that professional athletes who experience concussion during their career are more likely to suffer from anxiety, depression and sleep disorders when they retire. In Australia, 4 current and 6 former AFL players have spoken out publicly about their mental health challenges — but advocates say the number of those suffering out of the public eye is likely much higher.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 13th of  October 2017. Read by Tabetha Moreto. Health News

http://www.huffingtonpost.com.au/2017/10/09/world-mental-health-day-julia-gillard-and-beyondblues-mission-to-help-anxious-australians-get-well_a_23237128/

When Julia Gillard left politics in two thousand thirteen, she didn’t have to look further than her own family for inspiration about what to do next. Gillard, Australia’s twenty seventh prime minister, grew up having conversations at the dinner table about mental health. Her father was a psychiatric nurse. Sadly, mental illness was a largely taboo topic of conversation back then. Today, on World Mental Health Day, Gillard is confident Australia’s mental health has made significant strides. “Anxiety affects more Australians than depression, around two million a year. It’s the biggest, most prevalent mental health problem in Australia,” Gillard told HuffPost Australia. Gillard in July replaced Jeff Kennett as the Chair of beyondblue, one of the country’s leading authorities on mental health. It took only three days to set out her stall: tackling Australia’s suicide crisis. About eight Australians take their own lives each day. Gillard is committed to seeing that change. For now, her focus with beyondblue is raising greater awareness around anxiety. Indeed, the statistics are staggering. One in three people who suffer anxiety don’t recognise it as a problem for more than a year. Even more concerning, one in six don’t seek treatment for six years, and only about four in ten anxiety sufferers even take that step.

Gillard also reaffirmed beyondblue’s support for marriage equality. Again, the statistics for mental illness in the LGBTQ community are alarming. LGBTQ people are far more likely to attempt suicide than heterosexual people and experts estimate that legalising same-sex marriage may lead to three thousand fewer suicide attempts per year from high-school children.
One of the most fraught aspects of mental illness is the feeling of hopelessness that often comes with it. But, as Gillard says, the key is to seek help. Because people can get better.

https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2017/oct/11/australian-emergency-medicine-college-cleared-of-racial-discrimination

The Australasian College for Emergency Medicine (ACEM) has been cleared of racial discrimination in the testing of candidates. But the college has been told it must overhaul its clinical testing regime, after the review said it held real “concerns for the health and wellbeing” of doctors who are failed without reason after years of expensive and demanding training.
Earlier this year, a group of foreign-trained doctors complained the college was marred by systemic racism, which was greatly reducing their chances of passing. The pass rate for doctors initially trained in non-caucasian countries fell from about ninety percent in two thousand thirteen to about seven percent in two thousand sixteen. The pass rate for doctors trained in Australia, New Zealand, the UK, Ireland, Canada or the US remained stable over the same period.

The complaint sparked an internal investigation and the creation of an expert advisory group on discrimination, which included college and noncollege representatives. An interim report, released in June, said a new clinical exam structure, introduced in two thousand fifteen, had “unintentionally given rise to a systemic racial discrimination effect, principally through the mechanism of potential unconscious bias of examiners”. But that finding was reversed in the final report, released on Tuesday, which relied on a new statistical analysis of pass rates. The analysis found the divergence between caucasian and non-caucasian doctors was more likely to be “a true difference in performance” than systemic bias, chance, or error. The report did find the college had inappropriately managed the transition to a new clinical testing structure.
The process lacked information, clarity of expectations and support for candidates, the review found. It also failed to give candidates proper feedback about their results.
….
The expert advisory group’s deputy chair, Ron Paterson, said the candidates were owed an apology for the poor handling of the new clinical exam structure.

http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/breakfast/study-shows-link-between-concussion-and-mental-health/9037430

An international study found that professional athletes who experience concussion during their career are more likely to suffer from anxiety, depression and sleep disorders when they retire.
The research was commissioned by the international trade union representing professional soccer players — but it also looks at rugby and hockey players. In Australia, four current and six former AFL players have spoken out publicly about their mental health challenges — but advocates say the number of those suffering out of the public eye is likely much higher.

In two thousand six, former AFL player Wayne Schwass was one of the first athletes to open up about his issues with mental health as an AFL player in the nineties. Now, he runs ‘Puka Up’ — a social enterprise focusing on mental health, emotional wellbeing and suicide prevention.

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