The Health News – 19 October 2015

Overview:
• Some Australian soldier’s battle mental illness for decades after serving their country, but an Adelaide project is creating a space where men and women can talk about their issues, with a little help from a traditional Aussie shed. The Defence shed was officially opened at suburban Osborne on Saturday.

• ACT Greens MLA Shane Rattenbury has welcomed the Federal Government’s decision to legalise growing cannabis for medical use. The Federal Health Minister Sussan Ley has announced she would introduce legislation to Parliament, which would allow states and territories to cultivate cannabis for medical trials.

• Head of the Adelaide Women’s and Children’s Hospital paediatric emergency department, Malcolm Higgins, has warned parents of the risk of their children swallowing button-sized batteries.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 19th October 2015. Read by Rebecca Foster.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-10-17/defence-shed-opens-at-osborne-south-australia/6863016

Some Australian soldiers battle mental illness for decades after serving their country, but an Adelaide project is creating a space where men and women can talk about their issues, with a little help from a traditional Aussie shed.

The Defence shed was officially opened at suburban Osborne on Saturday and is based on the popular concept of men’s sheds, providing a place to discuss such things as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other concerns.

Shed committee chairman Sean Bates said the Adelaide venture was opened to coincide with national Veterans Health Week.

“It first came about by two guys in New South Wales who were suffering the side-effects of operational service and they just wanted to create an environment where ex- and currently serving ADF

[Australian Defence Force] people could get together and share stories, share information,” he said.

The Australian Defence Force said just over 8 per cent of its members had been diagnosed with PTSD in the past year.

Some of those who have served Australia come from a generation where talking about feelings or personal wellbeing was uncommon.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-10-17/act-greens-welcome-decision-to-legalise-growing-medical-cannabis/6862822

ACT Greens MLA Shane Rattenbury has welcomed the Federal Government’s decision to legalise growing cannabis for medical use.

The Federal Health Minister Sussan Ley has announced she would introduce legislation to Parliament, which would allow states and territories to cultivate cannabis for medical trials.

Ms Ley said the Government intended to amend the Narcotic Drugs Act to allow cannabis to be grown for medicine or science, and ensure that Australia was not in breach of international drug treaties.

Mr Rattenbury has previously pushed for the ACT to introduce laws around medical marijuana, but faced criticism that Canberra should not act alone.

Chief Minister Andrew Barr also announced earlier this year that the ACT would work with New South Wales on a medical cannabis trial.

Mr Rattenbury said the move by the Commonwealth proved a change in public sentiment towards the issue in Australia.

He said there was now no barrier for the ACT moving forward.

Mr Rattenbury said the Commonwealth’s decision would allow the ACT to legislate to grow cannabis within the territory and “create the mechanisms by which people can access it”.

The Federal Opposition also support the move to legislate for medical cannabis, saying they would have a nationally consistent scheme, rather than allowing states to opt out.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-10-18/button-sized-batteries-warning-children-could-swallow/6863850

A paediatric doctor has warned parents of the risk of their children swallowing button-sized batteries.

Head of the Adelaide Women’s and Children’s Hospital paediatric emergency department, Malcolm Higgins, said there could be complications for children if parents failed to notice any incident swiftly.

“It has the potential to cause serious injury if it isn’t detected reasonably promptly,” Dr Higgins said.

“If the battery lodges in a spot in the oesophagus or elsewhere in the digestive tract, it can cause damage to the lining.

“In most circumstances, there are no symptoms.”

Dr Higgins said parents needed to watch for any unusual behaviour in their children, particularly abnormal drooling or a child having trouble swallowing.

The Women’s and Children’s Hospital in Adelaide sees about six cases annually.

South Australian Health Minister Jack Snelling said it was timely to remind parents about the battery risks in the lead-up to Christmas.

“Of course, being round and shiny and small they can be very attractive to small hands and small mouths,” he said.

“Parents have to make sure these aren’t kept where little hands can get to them.”

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