The Health News Australia November 29 2017

  • Schools are struggling to cope with a sharp rise in anxiety, depression and self-harm among students as young as 10 years old, with one principal saying Australia has reached a “crisis point”. In April a joint report by Mission Australia and the Black Dog Institute found nearly 1 in 4 Australian teenagers met the criteria for having a “probable serious mental illness” — a 20%  increase from 5  years ago.
  • WA men are being encouraged to reach out for help with their mental health in a campaign by the McGowan government. Men in Western Australia are the target of a state government campaign to reduce the stigma of seeking help for their mental health.
    WA has the second highest rate of death by suicide, 20% higher than the national average.
  • Health authorities have announced a major crackdown on dangerous doctors to stop them harming patients. Research found 3% of Australia’s medical workforce accounts for nearly half of all complaints made to medical regulators or complaints boards. Medical practitioners aged 70 years will have to undergo a confidential health check, including cognitive screening and a formal managed performance review process.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 29th of November 2017. Read by Tabetha Moreto.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-11-27/schools-at-crisis-point-mental-health-concerns-among-students/9192386

Schools are struggling to cope with a sharp rise in anxiety, depression and self-harm among students as young as ten years old, with one principal saying Australia has reached a “crisis point”. In April a joint report by Mission Australia and the Black Dog Institute found nearly one in four Australian teenagers met the criteria for having a “probable serious mental illness” — a twenty percent increase from five years ago. The principal of Canberra’s Merici College, Loretta Wholley, said those figures aligned with her experiences in secondary education, but mental health issues were also presenting in younger students.
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Miss Wholley said her concern was that mental illness in children and teenagers would “cycle to a point where it gets out of control”. She added : “One in four, or twenty five per cent, of our population is a huge number if you really think about that in terms of a family or any group in society.” It is an experience also shared at the Australian Capital Territory’s public schools, with UC Kaleen High School principal Lana Read saying up to thirty per cent of students could be dealing with mental health concerns. She added there was now a change in attitudes where students also felt more comfortable to come forward.
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Senior psychologist Beth Matters sees the unique challenges for teens first-hand in her work at the public high school in Canberra’s north. She said cyber bullying and stress, particularly regarding exams, were a major concern for students. And she said while anxiety and depression had increased in the past five years, there had been a decrease in some behavioural disturbances such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

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ACT Mental Health Minister Shane Rattenbury said it was “very concerning” children as young as ten were experiencing anxiety and depression. He conceded the system needed to evolve to meet the demands of younger students.

https://healthtimes.com.au/hub/mental-health/37/news/aap/mental-health-campaign-for-men-in-wa/3043/

West Australian men are being encouraged to reach out for help with their mental health in a campaign by the McGowan government. Men in Western Australia are the target of a state government campaign to reduce the stigma of seeking help for their mental health.
WA has the second highest rate of death by suicide, twenty per cent higher than the national average.

Men aged twenty five to fifty four make up seventy five per cent, or three of every four of those deaths. Launching the Think Mental Health campaign, Mental Health minister Roger Cook said the aim was to help family and friends identify the early signs of mental health issues among men. “(We want to) make sure they’re reaching out and saying it’s okay to talk and it’s okay to listen,” the minister told AAP.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-11-28/medical-board-crackdown-on-dangerous-doctors/9200676

Health authorities have announced a major crackdown on dangerous doctors to stop them harming patients. The chair of the Medical Board, Professor Joanna Flynn, said a framework has been developed that will justify and strengthen the trust that the public has in doctors.
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An expert advisory group, set up by the Medical Board, outlined its findings, which have been accepted by authorities. Research found three per cent of Australia’s medical workforce accounts for nearly half of all complaints made to medical regulators or complaints boards.
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Medical practitioners aged seventy years will have to undergo a confidential health check, including cognitive screening and a formal managed performance review process. Research shows those doctors most likely to receive complaints are older, male and those with a history of complaints. The expert advisory group said : “There is increasing evidence that regular mandatory health checks, including cognitive screening of doctors aged seventy and over, are necessary to protect public safety by identifying and assessing doctors at risk of undetected poor performance.” Practitioners who provide clinical care will have to have peer review and health checks at the age of seventy and every three years after that. In March two thousand seventeen, there were five thousand five hundred ninety nine Australian medical practitioners aged seventy years and over and eight hundred sixty five aged eighty years and over, who are registered to practise medicine. Australian Medical Association (AMA) president Doctor Michael Gannon said the AMA acknowledges the need to review medical practitioners who continue to practise over the age of seventy.
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The Medical Board ruled out adopting a controversial system adopted in the UK, where doctors need to re-sit medical exams every five years.

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