Wednesday, 17 December 2014

January PD Opportunities

Professional development opportunities available in January for those who work in the Alcohol and Other Drug or Mental Health sector.

Write – presentations and papers

Addiction 2015 conference
Submit an abstract for the Addiction conference.  The conference will address the treatment and recovery of alcohol, other drugs and behavioural addictions and is hosted by the Australian and New Zealand Mental Health Association.  Positions are available for workshops, oral presentations, poster presentations and opportunities for peer review.  Relevant topic areas are listed on the website.
Submission closing date: 28th January 2015

Australian Winter School conference
Call for abstracts is now open. The theme of the 2015 conference is “Unleash Potential”.  Abstracts are welcome on a broad range of alcohol and drug topics, including prevention, treatment and recovery.  There is a particular focus on innovation and new research.
Submission closing date: 23rd January 2015

Read – professional reading

Gibney, P. B. (2014). Developing and articulating one’s own practice framework. Psychotherapy in Australia, 21 (1), 82-91.
Contact the library for access to this article

Livingston, M. (2014). Socioeconomic differences in alcohol-related risk-taking behaviours. Drug and Alcohol Review, 33 (6), 588-595.
Contact the library for access to this article

Attend – informal learning sessions, journal club, seminars, conferences

Journal club (available to Healthy Options workers only)
Internal professional development session held in the library and on the Queensland teleconference line.  January’s session is presented by Kate in the library  Sam, Queensland Prevention Worker. 
When: Thursday, 15th January, 2pm
Addiction Conference
The Addiction conference addresses treatment and recovery of alcohol, other drugs and behavioural addictions.  The conference is held at the Gold Coast, Queensland
When: 20th – 22nd May
Registration: Early bird registration until 7th April, 2015

Online– podcasts, webinars, videos

Pragmatics and pleasures of drug use
Dr. Magdalena Harris speaking at the HIT Hot Topics conference in Liverpool. She talks about measures to make harm reduction interventions effective & the essential need to acknowledge the pragmatics & the pleasures of drug use, and not to focus only on risks & harms

Talking about sex
Talking about sex. The question is - do we? Rosalyn Dischiavo throws some light on the subject in this podcast.
Rosalyn Dischiavo is the founder of the Institute for Sexuality Education and Enlightenment (ISEE), a holistic sex education school in Hartford, Connecticut, U.S.A. She is a professor, marriage and family therapist, and sexuality educator with a Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy and a Doctor of Education in Human Sexuality. Roz has been presenting webinars, retreats, workshops and lectures on topics related to wellness, spirituality, sex and gender issues for over 25 years. Her style is engaging. A former radio personality, she uses humour and insight to dynamically engage participants in a meaningful and unique dialog about sexuality and other wellness-related topics.

Assessed learning – short courses, certificates, diplomas, bachelors, post-grad

Graduate Certificate in Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drug Studies – University of Queensland
Within the field of Public Health, alcohol, tobacco and other drug use are associated with a significant burden of illness and injury in populations around the globe. In addition, individuals, families and communities experience adverse social harms arising from specific patterns of intoxication, modes of drug use and illicit drug markets. The majority of courses listed in this program are offered externally only.
To enrol, a student must hold an undergraduate degree in a related field or a combination or tertiary study and relevant work experience. 
Application closing date: 31st January, 2015 (For semester 1 entry)

Graduate Certificate of Alcohol and Drug Studies – University of Southern Queensland
Are you a doctor, nurse, psychologist or allied health professional looking to acquire practical skills that will help you respond to substance abuse in a range of health settings? Well the Graduate Certificate of Alcohol and Drug Studies is designed for those of you wanting to assess substance misuse, undertake motivational interviewing and assist people through relapse prevention. Designed in conjunction with Queensland Health’s Alcohol and Drug Training and Resource Unit, the award-winning program also provides an introduction to psychoactive drugs.
Don’t live near a USQ campus? Don’t worry. Delivered entirely online, the innovative degree is offered full-time or part-time to meet the competing demands of busy health professionals. Live in Brisbane or Birdsville? Work in nursing or mental health? The assessment schemes will offer opportunities to development knowledge and skills pertinent to your practice specialisation.
Application closing date: 26th February, 2015 (For semester 1 entry)

Please feel free to share other opportunities in the comments section.

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

National Drug Strategy Household Survey - information from the detailed report

The detailed report for the 2013 National Drug Strategy Household Survey has been released.  Some months ago we covered the first released findings from the survey, which you can revisit.  Here we'll cover some of the trends and statistics not covered in that earlier release.

  • People who live in regional and remote areas are twice as likely to smoke.  The significant declines that have been seen in daily smoking from 2010 to 2013 only apply to those living in major cities
  • Daily smoking and drinking increases with increased remoteness
  • People living with the lowest socioeconomic status (SES) were 3 times more likely to smoke than those in the highest SES 
  • People in the highest SES were more likely to drink at risky levels and to have taken ecstasy or cocaine in the last 12 months than those in the lowest SES 
  • Indigenous people were 2.5 times more likely to smoke tobacco than non-Indigenous people
  • Use of illicit drugs in the last 12 months was far more common in those who identified as homosexual or bisexual as compared with those who identified as heterosexual
  • Twice as many illicit drug users than non-users identified having a mental health issue
  • Those who were unemployed were more likely to smoke daily; used cannabis, methamphetamine, cocaine and ecstasy; and misused pharmaceuticals than those who were employed   

You can get further details by reading the full report here:

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Grant writing toolkit

The National Centre for Education and Training on Addiction (NCETA) at Flinders University have launched an online toolkit for non-government agencies for doing grant and funding applications Fund Assist
The toolkit takes you through a step-by-step process to create a funding portfolio.  The portfolio provides a platform to document consistent messages and information about an organisation so that it is readily available for applications.  There is space to collate feedback received from past grant applications to ensure that mistakes may be corrected.  The site also provides detailed information on assessing the organisation's track record and identifying strengths and opportunities.
Using the funding portfolio you are stepped through:
  • Funding evaluation criteria
  • Setting up a funding development team
  • Identifying funding sources
  • Developing a proposal
  • Writing the funding application
Each section is accompanied by activity sheets, links, videos, and resources, and each completed step can be exported in a Word document.
The website also has a database of funding sources and resources to help identify funding opportunities. 
The site is well presented and easy to navigate.  You'll even find strategically placed comics throughout the material, such as the following:
As a general rule, if a website contains a Dilbert comic it's both reliable and valid.  Retrieved from: NCETA 2014
Visit the website here:

Friday, 7 November 2014

International drug policy comparison - UK report

The UK Government have recently released the findings of a comparative investigation of the drug policies and laws of 11 countries.  The Drugs: International Comparators report aimed to assess the effectiveness of drug policy internationally and consider the implications on UK policy.

Countries examined embody a range of drug policy; from Japan's "zero-tolerance" policies to Portugal's decriminalisation.  Australia was not covered in the comparison, but is referred to in reference to drug courts, drug consumption rooms, heroin assisted treatment

Commentators have been quick to jump on the suggestion that the report offers that severity of punishment has little effect on numbers of people using drugs.   The report's authors however, are more reluctant to make such firm conclusions.  They suggest that whilst a country such as Portugal that made significant changes to their drug policies in 1999, including decriminalisation, has experienced declines in drug use and related harm, it is hard to separate the effect of decriminalisation from a general policy reform of adopting a harm minimisation approach to illicit drugs. 

The report has caused a storm of debate in the UK over the last week, with some calling for decriminalisation as a logical outcome of the report, whilst others claim the report does not provide sufficient evidence for policy change.     

You can read the report here - Drugs: International Comparators
... and a Google News search on the topic will supply you with enough reading material for the next month.

Thursday, 16 October 2014

Anti-poverty Week

The 12th-18th of October is anti-poverty week.  Whilst the definition of poverty is arbitrary, and no Australian government has ever adopted an official poverty line, most Australian research places it at 50% of the median income of Australians.  As the standard of living in the country improves, how a society defines poverty adjusts to the perceived average living standard.  As such, in Australia many people who have access to basic necessities, such as electricity, water, shelter and food, still meet the largely accepted criteria for living in poverty in this country.

Poverty has long researched associations with alcohol, tobacco and illicit drug use.  Relationships are also drawn between poverty and homelessness, poor mental health, poor general and oral health, consumption of energy-dense nutrient-poor food, and poorer educational outcomes.

Listed below is a selection of reports and resources on the topic of poverty in Australia.


Families, incomes and jobs, Volume 9: A statistical report on Waves 1 - 11 of the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) survey, 2014.
  • This report covers data collected from 2001-2011.
  • Report maintains that the percentage of people living on/under the poverty line was relatively stable from 2001-2011.  At 2011, 12.9% of responding households met the criteria for living in poverty
  • Poverty rates are highest amongst the elderly (23.9- 36.8% dependent on relationship status and sex) and lone parent families (27.4%)
  • Rates of lone parent families living in poverty sharply increased with the "Welfare-to-Work" reforms in 2006.  These reforms meant that some recipients were moved from a Single Parent Payment to the Newstart Allowance, reducing their income. In 2011, 29.5% of children in lone parent households were living in poverty
  • The report provides statistics into permanent poverty; assuming that in a given year a portion of respondents who meet the criteria for poverty may not in the following year.  The permanent poverty rate had increased from 8.5% (2003-2007) to 10% (2007-2011). There had been a sharp rise in permanent child poverty from 4.8% (2005-2009) to 7.8% (2007-2011) 

Advance Australia Fair? What to do about growing inequality in Australia, 2014.
  • Report provides insight into the growing inequality of income in Australia
  • Since the mid 1970s the income of the bottom tenth of earners has increased by 15%, whilst the income of the top tenth has increased by 59%
  • The top 20% account for 61% of all household wealth; whilst the bottom 20% account for 1% of wealth
  • The bottom 20% of earners rely on government payments for 3/4 of their income.  
  • The Newstart Allowance is reported to be the lowest unemployment benefit of all Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries. 52% of recipients of Newstart reach the criteria for living in poverty 
  • Several suggestions are made for addressing this inequality; including, but not limited to, tax reform

Rental Affordability Snapshot, 2014
  • Anglicare assesses the affordability of housing using the measure that rent should be a maximum of 30% of a household's earnings to be classified as affordable
  • The snapshot looks at properties available on one weekend. In 2014 this was the 5-6th April
  • Less than 1% of the properties available were affordable for those on government payments
  • 0.2% would be affordable for a single parent on Newstart

A snapshot of poverty in rural and regional Australia, 2014
  • Poverty rates are higher in regional and rural areas compared with metropolitan.  For example Queensland's overall level of poverty in 2010 was 12.5% compared with 15% in rural areas
  • The average Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander person's income is 70% of the Australian average
  • There is no region in Australia where Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have a higher disposable income than non-Indigenous people.
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people represent 2.5% of the population, and 25% of the homeless population

Interactive resources

Social Health Atlas of Australia
This interactive map allows you to examine social health by region across Australia.

On the Brink: Four Corners Report
A Four Corner's report examining those who are living on a Newstart Allowance and how that affects their lifestyle and opportunities.

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

3 simple activities for Mental Health Week 2014

It's Mental Health Week and this year it is being more highly recognised than ever. 
Here are 3 suggested activities for the week that won't take up a lot of time or effort:

1. Tune in to ABC as both radio and TV stations participate in "Mental As" this week, with programming focusing on mental health and illness.

How's the serenity?

2. Spend some time doing a relaxation activity.  These guided exercises from the University of Sydney are quite good and include breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, autogenic relaxation and visualisation. 

3. Be sure to be aware of your own mental health needs and catch up on this blog post, from the start of the year, on self care resources

Thursday, 25 September 2014

Sharing stories

The Australian National Council on Drugs (ANCD) has launched a new website Tell Your Story encouraging those who use, have used, or are in any other way involved with alcohol and other drugs to write about their experiences.  The purpose is to provide a platform for people to share their personal stories about drugs and alcohol.

The ANCD chairman Dr John Herron had this to say in the organisation's media release:, “This project is unique in that it seeks the real life experiences with drugs and alcohol from the public. We know already that some stories will inspire others, some will help others to understand that they are not alone and some will be thought provoking and revealing. I am also so pleased that the NGO sector will take on this important work to document and share the contemporary Australian experience with drugs and alcohol. Too often it is a discussion that we fear and try and hide, when the better approach is to be open about our collective experiences. Only then can we fully understand this complex aspect of our lives”

Workers and employers are also encouraged to leave stories.  Stories are moderated and may be edited to ensure no personal details sneak through and that offensive language is removed.  It may take a week for a story to be available on the site.

The stories are freely accessible; there is no log in process.

Visit the Tell Your Story Website here

or read the full media release here.

Another Scottish site that serves a similar function from a mental health perspective is Write to Recovery (brought to our attention by Michelle, Brisbane CAFSS coordinator.  Thanks, Michelle!).  This site also allows free access to stories and has the additional feature of providing writers with tools to help with the writing process.

Thursday, 11 September 2014

Two readings for your professional knowledge

The following recently published items may be of professional interest:

Motivational interviewing for alcohol misuse in young adults. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2014

Cochrane's review on the effectiveness of using motivational interviewing (MI) with young people using alcohol.  66 studies, with 17,901 participants, were included in the review.  General findings were that MI was not significantly effective in preventing alcohol misuse.  Although some of the findings were significant the relationship was not particularly strong.  Several limitations of the studies included are discussed and these are worth reading before dismissing MI as an intervention. 

Sexual health and relationships in young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people: results of the first Australian study of knowledge, risk practices and health service access for sexually transmissible infections (STIs) and blood borne viruses (BBVs) among young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people: the goanna survey

This is the first national survey of young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in relation to sexually transmissible infections (STIs) and blood borne viruses (BBVs) undertaken in Australia.  There were 2,877 respondents aged 16-29yrs.  Respondents indicated a good knowledge of STIs and BBVs.  The report outlines reported sexual behaviour, licit and illicit drug use and injecting practices, STI testing and diagnosis.  

Friday, 5 September 2014

National child protection week

National Child Protection Week begins Sunday 7th September and you can visit the National Association for Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect (NAPCAN) website for posters and resources to raise awareness around the week.  There are several printable brochures available through the "Resource Hub" section of the website.

For further resources/reading on the topic see:
ANCD Research paper:
From policy to implementation: child and family sensitive practice in the alcohol and other drugs sector.  (2014) National Centre for Education and Training on Addiction
 Outlines child and family sensitive practice and recommends alcohol and drug organisations :
  • Organisations be encouraged to review and, where appropriate, amend their policies to incorporate clear policies and guidelines on working from a child and family sensitive perspective.
  • Alcohol and other drugs organisations and child welfare/protection services develop joint protocols and systems that facilitate information sharing about the wellbeing and safety of clients’ children.
  • In the implementation of child and family sensitive practice, consideration be given to the evidence base for good practice, including the exemplars identified as part of this project.
  • When developing and implementing child and family sensitive practice, alcohol and other drugs organisations identify and support champions who can be used to promote the implementation of child and family sensitive practice.
  • Alcohol and other drugs organisations review and update their current training provision in relation to child and family sensitive practice and ensure that staff are provided with appropriate professional development opportunities.
  • Alcohol and other drugs organisations review and update their clinical supervision guidelines to ensure that they include reference to child and family sensitive practice.

The Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet has links to health promotion and practice resources, and publications on family violence.

Gruenert & Tsantefski (2012) Responding to the needs of children and parents in families experiencing alcohol and other drug problems. Prevention Research Quarterly, 17. 

We will have a display of resources in the library during the week.  We'll also be looking at providing resources and information on the topic of child abuse and trauma to tie in with Blue Knot Day, on the 27th October.


Thursday, 28 August 2014

What young people think about AOD issues
The Australian National Council on Drugs (ANCD) has released a report into the opinions of young people around AOD issues.  With the help of the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre (NDARC), 2,300 young people aged 16-25 were surveyed.

For the full report see:

Young people's opinions on alcohol and drug issues.

Some of the strong beliefs are reported by ANCD:

  • Supporting access to drug treatment services, including drug withdrawal treatment and residential rehabilitation.
  • Supporting harm reduction measures - over two-thirds supported needle and syringe programs, regulated injecting facilities, and the availability of pill testing equipment or kits
  • Supporting government intervention only when a person's drug use is causing harm to someone else
  • Supporting policies that help them to access accurate, balanced, relevant drug information and education; they would like to be free to make informed decisions about the risks, or benefits, of using drugs
  • Supporting approaches to new and emerging psychoactive substances with regulation and opposing outright bans
  • Supporting the legalization of personal use of cannabis, with a preference for education and treatment being the first line response by governments.
  • Opposing measures that are designed to restrict alcohol availability, including restricted trading hours, increased prices and reduced numbers of outlets selling alcohol
  • Opposing the use of sniffer dogs in public places

Thursday, 14 August 2014

NCETA launches new AOD knowledgebase

The National Centre for Education and Training on Addiction has just launched a new website

The site has four knowledge areas; alcohol, cannabis, pharmaceuticals, and methamphetamines.  At present only the "alcohol" section of the website has been finished.
The information presented is intended for clinicians, researchers, policy makers and the general public.  All of the information has been presented in an easy-to-read, easy-to-navigate question and answer format.  They have evaluated and analysed a number of key resources to provide the answers, meaning that the end user does not need to wade through the huge amounts of information available and try to critic the information themselves.  The information provided in the answers is brief and references are included as a separate page. 
The Alcohol Section of the Knowledgebase contains more than 130 frequently asked questions (FAQs) about:
 · Consumption patterns
· Alcohol use and the workplace
· Alcohol-related harms
· The impact of alcohol consumption on crime and violence
· Treatment
· Young people
It is envisaged that the website will be updated frequently to ensure the information is always current.


Friday, 8 August 2014

Measuring global emotion

The CSIRO along with the Black Dog Institute have begun a project mapping emotions expressed in content posted on Twitter.  The "We feel ..." project allows you to search by emotion, region and date.  By clicking through the emotions you are able to see the words that are used to categorise Tweets.

The explorer tab (the first page that opens) provides a nice visual representation of your search...

whilst the table builder allows you to conduct a more refined search...

 There are yet to be any papers released on the data, but the site is free, relatively easy to use, and an interesting insight into global emotion.

Winter School Conference Day 3 - What the Tweets told us

If you want a wrap up of all the tweets about Winter School in a lovely package with great explanations you can visit the Lives Lived Well storify site:

Here's just a brief insight into what was happening on the third day (2nd day of conference presentations) at Winter School.

Waste water analysis
Professor Wayne Hall presented on waste water analysis as a means of determining drug use.

If this is a topic that you are interested in, you may like to read:

Trends & Issues in Crime and Criminal Justice report "Measuring drug use patterns in Queensland through waste water analysis"

Hall, W., Prichard, J., Paul Kirkbride, R. B., Thai, P. K., Gartner, C., Lai, F. Y., ... & Mueller, J. F. (2012). An analysis of ethical issues in using wastewater analysis to monitor illicit drug useadd_3887 1767.. 1773. Addiction, 107, 1767-1773.

Novel psychoactive substances
Panel discussion on novel psychoactive substances

For further information consult
Bruno, R., Poesiat, R., & Matthews, A. J. (2013). Monitoring the Internet for emerging psychoactive substances available to Australia. Drug and alcohol review, 32(5), 541-544. Available on request from the library.
The challenge of new psychoactive substances 2013 report from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.
Health promotion stream
Alcohol related violence
Professor Miller, presenter on this topic, is a frequent contributor to The Conversation, and you can read articles by him related to alcohol fuelled violence here, here, and here
Social marketing campaigns
For further reading:
Jones, S. C., & Magee, C. A. (2011). Exposure to alcohol advertising and alcohol consumption among Australian adolescents. Alcohol and Alcoholism, 46(5), 630-637.
Hall, D. V., Jones, S. C., & Hoek, J. (2011). Direct to consumer advertising versus disease awareness advertising: Consumer perspectives from down under. Journal of Public Affairs, 11(1), 60-69.
If you attended Winter School and would like to share some of your learnings please comment below or contact the library about contributing a blog post.

Friday, 25 July 2014

Winter School Day 2 - What the Tweets told us

Winter School, an annual conference for AOD professionals, began on Wednesday in Brisbane.  Day 1 was dedicated to workshops, with presentations and panels starting yesterday.

Whilst some of our staff have been at the event, and will no doubt come back and share some of the presentations they've seen (perhaps here on the blog *less then subtle hint*),  we've been watching the tweets from the conference to see what the hottest topics have been.  Here's a summary for those who haven't been there...

Dr Adam Winstock - The Internet and Drugs
Perhaps unsurprisingly, there was a lot of discussion around the first presentation by the International Keynote speaker. Dr Winstock comes from the Institute of Psychiatry, Kings College London. 
You may have come across the college before, as they are quite involved in AOD research and I've cover them here briefly once when they offered a free online course.

On the topic of drug use and harm

And, of course, on the topic of drugs for sale on the Internet.  Availability was mentioned in several tweets, as was cryptocurrencies that make detection of purchases difficult.  Also discussed was the assertion that the first thing purchased via the Internet was cannabis!

Alcohol Ad Review
Plenty of interest (and tweets) about the 2nd Alcohol Advertising Review Board Annual report.  Particularly, around alcohol advertising on social media.

Beat da binge campaign
A number of people discussing the "Beat da binge" campaign, and Ian Patterson's presentation on the positives of a community approach in Indigenous communities.

You can find out more about this campaign and its reported effectiveness here, here, and here.

Youth stream
The youth focused stream of the conference is also attracting a bit of discussion online

Undoubtedly, there will be plenty of discussion online today.  If you are on Twitter the conference is using #AWS2014, and you can search this to pull up relevant tweets.

Thursday, 17 July 2014

National Drugs Strategy Household Survey - 2013 first stats

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare has begun releasing results from the 2013 National Drugs Strategy Household Survey.  The NDSHS looks at the prevalence of current use and lifetime use of drugs and alcohol, by examining a cross section of the Australian population. 

Today's media release touches on some of the trends that have been identified in the data.  The full report is due for release at the end of the year.

Some of the information, so far...


18-24 y/o who had never smoked had significantly increased from 2010 (from 72% to 77%)
Daily smoking has declined from 15.1% (2010) to 12.8%
Younger smokers have delayed smoking up-take from 14.2y/o (1995) to 15.9y/o

Daily drinking has declined significantly from 7.2% (2010) to 6.5% (2013)
The proportion of 12-17y/o abstaining from alcohol from 64% (2010) to 72% (2013)
There have been significant decreases in people over 14 y/o exceeding lifetime risk guidelines, 20% (2010) to 18.2% (2013)
In 2013, more people thought that alcohol caused the most drug-related deaths and this was the most commonly mentioned drug (34%), increasing from 30% in 2010, and for the first time was higher than tobacco.
Illicit Substances
In 2013, 42% of Australians reported that they had used substances illicitly
The number of people participating in illicit drug use is increasing
There have been significant decreases in the use of ecstasy (from 3.0% to 2.5%), heroin (from 0.2% to 0.1%) and GHB (from 0.1% to less than 0.1%)
Misuse of pharmaceuticals has significantly increased from 4.2% to 4.7%
2013 was the first year the survey collected data on synthetic substances, it was found that 1.2% of the population (about 230,000 people) had used synthetic cannabinoids in the last 12 months, and 0.4% (about 80,000 people) had used another psychoactive substance such as mephedrone.

Friday, 11 July 2014

Podcasts for PD

Considered podcasts for a professional development activity?

Podsocs is a site compiling podcasts for social workers, hosted by Griffith University
Some sample topics:
- Social work in disasters
- Social work, robots and a technological future
- Finding Aboriginal identity

ABC Radio National's All In The Mind program has an archive of podcasts.  The show explores the connection between brain and behaviour
Sample topics:
- Willpower
- The forces that shape us
- Brain training for mental illness

The Wise Counsel Podcast has interviews on the topic of mental health and psychotherapy.  This one doesn't have recent content, but the archives are interesting nonetheless.
Sample topics:
- Organize your mind, organize your life
- Trauma and art
- Forensic psychology

As always, if you have any suggestions for your colleagues please share in the comments.

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

5 Mental Health PD activities that you can do in less than 15 minutes

Time poor and haven't done your professional development for the month?  Try one of these online activities.

Watch Treating anxiety disorders: educational videos a 6 part educational series on treating anxiety - for training Master's level clinicians.  Produced by the Anxiety and Depression Association of America.  Takes about 15mins in total to view them all.

Drawing up a support chart A practice activity from ReachOut

Read one of the journal articles from the free-to-access International Journal of Mental Health Systems

Watch Vikram Patel's TED talk Mental health for all by involving all

Participate in a professional discussion on the PsychCentral forums

Have a quick PD activity to share with your colleagues? Comment below

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

National Reconciliation Week - TED talks

National Reconciliation Week has just finished.  We've had a great display up in the library, thanks to Justin and Jerome. 

As part of the celebrations for the week the following TED talks have been recommended by Reconciliation Australia: 

IndigenousX - Luke Pearson
Luke Pearson's journey from country NSW to teaching in Sydney, and then to the creation of @IndigenousX on Twitter, is part of a bigger journey to share Australia's diverse, courageous, and inspiring Aboriginal heritage

OnexSameness - Dr. Anita Heiss
Anita is a contemporary Australian author. She is a Wiradjuri woman. She is an Indigenous Literacy Day Ambassador and an Adjunct Professor with Jumbunna Indigenous House of Learning, UTS amongst many other things.

Science, art and reconciliation - Steven Tingay
Steven Tingay is a Professor of Radio Astronomy at Curtin University and a Western Australian Premier's Research Fellow. He is the Director of the Murchison Widefield Array, a precursor SKA (Square Kilometre Array) telescope due to come into operation in early 2013. Steven also currently leads a large team of academics and students as Director of the Curtin Institute of Radio Astronomy and Deputy Director of the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research.

How to reduce poverty? Fix homes - Paul Pholeros
In 1985, architect Paul Pholeros was challenged by the director of an Aboriginal-controlled health service to "stop people getting sick" in a small indigenous community in south Australia. The key insights: think beyond medicine and fix the local environment. In this sparky, interactive talk, Pholeros describes projects undertaken by Healthabitat, the organization he now runs to help reduce poverty—through practical design fixes—in Australia and beyond. (Filmed at TEDxSydney.)

A few moments for the anti-tobacco movement

Saturday was World No Tobacco Day, and on Friday the Prevention team and the library put together some displays and presentations on the topic.

One of the items we did was a timeline of the anti-tobacco movement.  I've recreated that timeline below.  It's not as pretty as the poster, which you can still see in the library, but it's still interesting AND has some relevant hyperlinks. 

Moments in the anti-tobacco movement

King James I of England imposes heavy tax on tobacco.  Says that smoking is a , “cutome loathesome to the eye, hateful to the nose, harmful to the brain, dangerous to the lungs…”
Sir Francis Bacon writes that tobacco use is increasing and that it is difficult to quit
Physician John Hill conducts one of the first clinical studies linking snuff with cancers of the nose

Anti-tobacco movement starts in US as an adjunct to the Temperance movement
A debate about the health effects of tobacco begins in the medical journal, The Lancet

UK parliament passes bill to mandate smoke-free carriages on trains

Dr I. Adler suggests strong connection between smoking and lung cancer

Researchers in Germany make statistical correlation between smoking and lung cancer

Nazi party engages in large scale public health campaign against smoking. Measures include—posters and advertisements of health dangers,  messages in workplaces, health education sessions, medical lectures on quitting, restriction on sales, and restrictions on the places people could smoke

43% increase on tax on cigarettes in the UK results in 14% drop in use by British men

First large-scale epidemiological study of the relationship between smoking and lung cancer.  Found 99.5% of 1,357 patients with lung cancer were smokers

Dr E L Wynder publishes landmark report suggesting biological link between smoking and cancer.  Research involved painting cigarette tar on the backs of mice.

Well publicised report by the Royal College of Physicians, “Smoking and Health”.  Recommendations include: the restriction of advertising, increased taxation, restrictions on smoking in public, and more information on tar and nicotine content

Director-General of the World Health Organisation presents report on “The Limitation of Smoking”.  Call for an end to cigarette advertising and promotion

Closer to home...

Direct radio and television advertising begins to be phased out in Australia. 
Health warnings on cigarette packs.
Cigarette advertising banned in locally produced newspapers and magazines.

Most forms of tobacco sponsorship phased out, except for international events

Billboards, outdoor and illuminated advertising banned

Laws passed removing sponsorship exemptions

Tobacco industry sponsorship completely phased out.  New graphic anti-smoking ads  go to air and on cigarette packages

Indoor smoking laws begin to be introduced

States start banning smoking in cars with children
Local councils move to make alfresco areas smoke-free

Smoking inside pubs and clubs banned in every state.  Tobacco excise increased by 25%

Australia first country to introduce plain packaging for all cigarettes