The Health News – 27 May 2016

Overview:
• The university students will be able to assess children during school hours with the support of qualified clinical academics and will provide occupational therapy, audiology, speech pathology, dietary assistance and social work services. The health hubs are a project of the University of Sydney using Federal funding, with buildings already installed at some schools.

• The Australian Medical Association (AMA) may change its position on voluntary euthanasia to one of neutrality, after a regular review of its long-held stance against the practice. The exact findings have not been made clear, but representatives of the organisation have said it is considering a change to its policy position, which would be released by the end of the year.

• Bendigo’s newly-opened Mind Recovery College is a place of learning where teachers have personal experience with a mental health issue. Part of Mind Australia, an organisation that provides mental health and disability support services, the college is delivering a range of courses about mental health.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the  27th of May 2016. Read by Rebecca Foster. Health News

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-05-26/health-hubs-roll-out-in-broken-hill-to-treat-schoolchildren/7449180

Schoolchildren and medical students in far west New South Wales are set to benefit when “health hubs” open in Broken Hill primary schools next term.

Seven schools are in the process of having modular buildings installed as bases where health students from more than 20 Australian universities will complete placements.

The university students will be able to assess children during school hours with the support of qualified clinical academics and will provide occupational therapy, audiology, speech pathology, dietary assistance and social work services.

The health hubs are a project of the University of Sydney using Federal funding, with buildings already installed at some schools.

Deb Jones, director of primary healthcare at the University’s Broken Hill Department of Rural Health (UDRH), said the centres would help both schoolchildren and medical students.

Ms Jones said there was an increasing demand from health students looking for practical training in the bush.

Ms Jones said the centres were about early intervention for children rather [than] for the treatment of illnesses.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-05-26/ama-considers-change-in-policy-on-voluntary-euathanasia/7449380

The Australian Medical Association (AMA) may change its position on voluntary euthanasia to one of neutrality, after a regular review of its long-held stance against the practice.

Almost 4,000 members of AMA responded to a survey on voluntary euthanasia.

The exact findings have not been made clear, but representatives of the organisation have said it is considering a change to its policy position, which would be released by the end of the year.

“One possible outcome is that the AMA might adopt a position of neutrality on the issue, in other words, not have a clearly written policy in accordance with the declaration of Geneva,” Western Australian branch president Michael Gannon said.

Currently, the AMA has a policy that medical practitioners should not be involved in interventions “that have as their primary intention the ending of a person’s life”, excluding the discontinuation of futile treatment.

Doctors associations overseas, including in a number of European nations as well as Canada, have changed their position in recent years from opposition to a doctor’s participation in assisted death to supporting doctors to use their conscience.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-05-26/mental-health-experience-at-the-heart-of-teaching/7447930

Bendigo’s newly-opened Mind Recovery College is a place of learning where teachers have personal experience with a mental health issue.

Part of Mind Australia, an organisation that provides mental health and disability support services, the college is delivering a range of courses about mental health.

Teacher Maree Roche was diagnosed with bipolar disorder five years ago.

“That was a five-year journey of recovery,” she said.

Ms Roche said many of the teachers at the college had been in inpatient services, including her own stint at a residential service for people with mental health issues, which she described as a “difficult” period in her life.

Her husband also has bipolar disorder, so she is a carer and someone with a lived experience.

Yet Ms Roche remains philosophical about her life, quoting French philosopher and writer Jean-Paul Satre: “Freedom is what you do with what’s been done to you.”

She said acceptance of the situation and acknowledging feelings were how people could move forward.

The challenge was maintaining the fine balance between sharing a personal story and teaching.

“A certain level of disclosure of your lived experience is valuable, because it does form part of your identity,” Ms Roche said.

“I think it’s courageous to say, ‘Well, this is who I am, I own it, I’m not defined by it, but I want you to know that I get it'”.

Senior learning and development coordinator Sue Hinton described the college’s approach to education as one where experience was the key.

“Where we have somebody with a lived experience, somebody with subject expertise, and someone with a learning development or training background,” she said.

Ms Hinton said those three elements were combined to create a specially-designed course.

The model of teaching was first developed in the United Kingdom before starting in Victoria in 2013.

The college’s main campus is in Cheltenham in [Victoria]…, with six other campuses throughout regional Victoria and one in South Australia.

All the courses are designed and delivered by the community, and range from life skills to recovery issues.

Some of the courses on offer include mindfulness, navigating the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), self care, challenging mental health stigma, understanding the recovery process, and the relationship between food and moods.

There is one course per week on offer at the Bendigo campus, with more planned for the future.

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