The Health News – 13 Nov 2014

Overview

  • Robotics, mental health, tourism and technology have been leading topics at the G20 Global Cafe starting today in Brisbane.
  • The parents of a fly-in, fly-out mine worker who committed suicide say workers are scared to report mental health issues in case they get sacked.
  • The $67 million centre, on the grounds of Camperdown Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, was named in honour of former New South Wales Governor Marie Bashir, who has dedicated much of her life to the field.


News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 13th November 2014. Read by Rebecca Foster.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-11-12/g20-global-cafe-plants-seeds-of-knowledge-in-brisbane/5885658

Robotics, mental health, tourism and technology have been leading topics at the G20 Global Cafe starting today in Brisbane.

Queensland’s capital city is the first G20 host city to stage a global thinktank such as this.

The event will see 75 of the world’s sharpest and most innovative minds share their thoughts on an array of global topics and allow networking between countries.

Queensland’s Marita Cheng, founder and CEO of 2Mar Robotics, says the opportunity for Brisbane to host such an event will place the city on the world stage.

The 25-year-old was named Young Australian of the Year in 2012 has been involved with robotics for the last six years, creating Robogals Global which encourages women to enter engineering fields.

She hopes that her address will show other women what the opportunities there are in the future of science.

Dr Kathleen Pike travelled from the US to speak on mental health and the programs that can help the world tackle the growing issue.

The leader of the Global Mental Health Program says the cafe is an innovative addition to the G20 summit.

Dr Pike says the global cafe will allow industry and government to talk together.

“When we talk about mental health, it impacts 25 per cent of people around the world, [but] it is a largely ignored issue,” she said.

“We need to start recognising that we have treatments that work and if we focus on these treatments, we have the opportunity to reduce the collateral costs associated with untreated mental illness.

“One priority is the essential need for researchers and policymakers to work together as we will not solve it sitting in our silos.”

She hopes that the global network will bring leadership together to engage in solutions.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-11-12/fifo-workers-not-reporting-depression-due-to-sacking-fears/5886078

The parents of a fly-in, fly-out mine worker who committed suicide say workers are scared to report mental health issues in case they get sacked.

Rhys Connor, 25, was working at Rio Tinto’s Hope Downs mine site in WA’s Pilbara as a concreter when he took his life in July 2013.

A parliamentary inquiry into a spate of suicides by FIFO workers – nine in 12 months – was examining the effects of the lifestyle on mental health.

Rhys’ stepfather Peter Miller said the onset of Rhys’ mental health issues was sudden and they were not sure what to do.

Mr Miller said a break-up with his girlfriend weeks before had contributed to Mr Connor’s mental health decline and he was also missing his young son he had with a previous partner.

He said the start of Mr Connor’s mental health problems to his suicide was only about six weeks.

Mr Miller said Rhys went to the Mead Centre in Armadale, a government-run adult mental health service when he was off rotation in Perth, but was unable to see a psychologist.

He said someone from the facility called Mr Connor at home and told him to seek on-site services available if he felt depressed.

Mr Connor told Mr Miller that he thought if his employer OTOC limited found out he had seen a psychologist in Perth, he would lose his job.

On 24 July, Rhys texted his parents to tell them he was coming home in a few days, that his job was winding up.

He had a few beers with co-workers, had dinner and went to bed.

Mr Miller said he did not know what circumstances led Rhys to taking his own life.

Ms Miller said the outcome she wanted from the parliamentary inquiry was for mining companies to make changes.

Today’s session of the inquiry into mental health impacts of FIFO work arrangements was the final one in this round, with a discussion paper due to be released on 27 November.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-11-12/professor-marie-bashir-mental-health-centre/5886836

A 73-bed mental health centre, designed to look more like a home than a hospital, is set to accommodate more than 2,000 patients a year after it opens in Sydney on Thursday.

The $67 million centre, on the grounds of Camperdown’s Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, was named in honour of former New South Wales Governor Marie Bashir, who has dedicated much of her life to the field.

Professor Marie Bashir Centre included brightly coloured walls bearing images of terraces and city scenes, landscaped courtyards with panoramic views, a kitchen to teach patients basic cooking skills and a gym.

Its “chill-out zones” feature TV screens on ceilings beaming relaxing images of trees and waterfalls.

Professor Ian Hickie, from Sydney University’s Brain & Mind Research Institute, said he hoped the centre would become a world leader.

Sydney Local Health District mental health director Victor Storm said Dame Marie had inspected the centre and was delighted with it.

Dame Marie was honoured in this year’s Queen’s Birthday Honours List “particularly as an advocate for improved mental health outcomes for the young, marginalised and disadvantaged”.

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