The Health News – 23 May 2017

Overview:

• Belinda Downes was born with the rare facial difference condition bilateral oro-ocular cleft. She was recently featured on an episode of the ABC TV program You Can’t Ask That — a show aimed at breaking down stigma by showing the audience how people from diverse sections of the community respond to some of the tough questions they often attract.

• Health Minister Cameron Dick has announced a $20 million commission aimed at tackling the problem to reduce the growing number of overweight and obese families. The Healthy Futures Commission will provide grants and partner with community organisations to encourage Queenslanders to eat better and exercise more.

• In March, Facebook expanded its suicide prevention tools to Facebook Live, which gives Australian support groups the opportunity to target young people in the moment of their distress. It is new, and complex, ground for mental health advocates dealing with emerging platforms like Facebook Live according to SANE Australia — a national charity that helps those affected by mental illness. It is an ongoing debate as to whether Facebook is truly a platform that merely hosts the infrastructure that facilitates content — or a publisher of the content itself.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the  23rd of May 2017. Read by Rebecca Foster. Health News

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-05-22/newcastle-woman-breaking-down-stigma-around-facial-difference/8537240

A Newcastle woman living with facial difference is hoping her appearance on an ABC television program will help break down stigma.

Belinda Downes lives with a physical disability, as well as a facial difference condition.

She was recently featured on an episode of the ABC TV program You Can’t Ask That — a show aimed at breaking down stigma by showing the audience how people from diverse sections of the community respond to some of the tough questions they often attract.

Ms Downes was born with the rare facial difference condition bilateral oro-ocular cleft.

“I was born with a hole in my face. That’s it; it’s just re-arranged skin,” she said.

Ms Downes also lives with a physical disability, which affects her sight and depth perception and induces fatigue.

“It’s mostly about managing my face muscles,” she said.

“Imagine you have a dicky knee, and when you do too much sport, you’ve got to put your leg up; I’ve got to do that with my face because I overdo it sometimes.”

Growing up, Ms Downes said most of her family had a disability.

Throughout her schooling, she ignored bullying and got on with life, eventually becoming a linguist.

Ms Downes said she wanted to appear on the TV program to help reduce stigma.

“People think that all of us with facial differences go through a lot of pain and agony, and our lives are horrible. That’s actually not true,” she said.

“Because of the way our culture views facial difference, it’s really important that we tell the truth.”

The pre-recorded nature of the program helped Ms Downes lose any inhibitions she had.

“If somebody doesn’t accept you simply because of the way your face looks, that person has a problem that needs to be addressed, because they’re obviously missing out on knowing some great people.”

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-05-21/queensland-obesity-crisis-tackled-with-$20m-commission/8545096

How would you fix Queensland’s obesity problem?

The State Government wants Queenslanders’ help to reduce the growing number of overweight and obese families.

Health Minister Cameron Dick has announced a $20 million commission aimed at tackling the problem.

The Healthy Futures Commission will provide grants and partner with community organisations to encourage Queenslanders to eat better and exercise more.

“The focus of the commission is to be a champion for change.”

Between 1986 and 2016, the percentage of overweight or obese children went from 11 per cent to 26 per cent.

Mr Dick said by 2026 there would be 300,000 overweight and obese children in the state.

One of the commission’s goals is to reduce childhood obesity by 10 per cent by 2026.

The commission’s six-member board and CEO are yet to be appointed.

The Government wants it up and running by 2018.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-05-22/facebook-should-hide-suicide-live-streams-from-public-eye/8548126

Facebook’s policy to allow the live broadcast of self-harm on its platform has attracted concern among mental health advocates.

The power to go live and unfiltered to the internet from a phone has opened up enormous possibilities to transform the way we communicate.

But it has created a wave of ethical questions that the world’s biggest social network, Facebook, is being forced to navigate very publicly.

Residents have live streamed the aftermath of fatal shootings in the US, drive-by attacks and racially motivated abuses.

Police around the world now fear there could be a disturbing trend of suicides being live streamed.

In March, the social media giant expanded its suicide prevention tools to Facebook Live, which gives Australian support groups the opportunity to target young people in the moment of their distress.

The scale of the task at hand is growing — a recent leak of documents published in The Guardian reported that moderators were escalating thousands of reports each fortnight.

According to The Guardian, a recent policy update shared with moderators highlighted they were “now seeing more video content — including suicides — shared on Facebook” and that “[Facebook doesn’t] want to censor or punish people in distress who are attempting suicide”.

“However, because of the contagion risk [that some people who see suicide are more likely to consider suicide], what’s best for the safety of people watching these videos is for us to remove them once there’s no longer an opportunity to help the person.

“We also need to consider newsworthiness, and there may be particular moments or public events that are part of a broader public conversation that warrant leaving up.”

It is new, and complex, ground for mental health advocates dealing with emerging platforms like Facebook Live according to SANE Australia — a national charity that helps those affected by mental illness.

It is an ongoing debate as to whether Facebook is truly a platform that merely hosts the infrastructure that facilitates content — or a publisher of the content itself.