Friday, 27 February 2015

Alcohol's harm to families and children - report

The Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education (FARE) have released a report this week looking at the harm alcohol causes to families and children. 

"The Hidden Harm: Alcohol's impact on children and families" has received a fair bit of media attention this week, especially around reported findings of the relationship between alcohol use and domestic and family violence.

Data for the report was compiled from the 2008 Harm to Others survey and 2011 Harm to Others follow-up survey and information from alcohol and other drug treatment, child protection, police and family violence services.

Some of the findings:
  • Past harm was the strongest predictor of future harm for children and families, as well as the number of adult heavy drinkers in respondents' household and among their relatives, girlfriends, boyfriends and ex-partners. Half (50 per cent) of adult respondents harmed in 2008 were also harmed in 2011 and 35 per cent of children harmed in 2008 continued to be harmed in 2011.
  • In 2011 there were 29,684 police-reported incidents of alcohol-related domestic violence in Australia
  • Children are being verbally abused, left in unsupervised or unsafe situations, physically hurt or exposed to domestic violence because of others’ drinking. Many were also witnessing verbal or physical conflict, drinking or inappropriate behaviour.
  • Over a million children (22 per cent of all Australian children) are estimated to be affected in some way by the drinking of others (2008). 142,582 children were substantially affected (2008), and more than 10,000 Australian children are in the child protection system because of a carers drinking (2006-07).

You can read reflections from one of the researchers here:

You can also find FARE's "Policy Options Paper for preventing alcohol-related family and domestic violence" here:

Friday, 20 February 2015

Health on the Internet

Two new developments that may be of interest when searching about health on the internet.

Medicare Local, Mater Health Services, University of Southern Queensland and a number of other partners have come together to develop a health website for refugee women.  The Community Health Hub provides health information in French, Swahili, Kirundi, Arabic and English.  Be aware that people with very low English literacy may still need help navigating the site's English menu options.


Google are adjusting their search algorithm to help deliver factual information to those searching health information online.  Due to the nature of the internet, some of the information you may come across is... less than reliable.  Google statistics suggest that 1 in 20 searches performed are health related, and more people are searching symptoms and illnesses as a part of assessing their own health.

To ensure that factual information from evidence-based sources is prominently featured when a user searches, a "Knowledge Graph" will appear with information such as symptoms, treatments, how common the ailment is, and whether it is contagious.  Information is sourced from reliable websites and from doctors involved in the project.  However, Google are quick to state that search results are not a replacement for visiting a doctor.
Image: Google 2015
The changes came into place on the U.S. site from the 10th February and will be rolled out through all the sites.  You should start to see the Knowledge Graph appear when you do a medical search in the future.

For more information see:

Thursday, 12 February 2015

March PD Opportunities

Find below some of professional development opportunities available in March.  As always, please comment or contact the library if you have something to add.

Write – presentations and papers

International Mental Health Conference at the Gold Coast
Abstract submissions are now open for the International Mental Health conference
The conference program will be designed to challenge, inspire, demonstrate and encourage participants while facilitating discussion. The program will include an extensive range of topics with keynotes, concurrent sessions, workshops and posters. Topics will include:

  • Early intervention and treatment advances
  • Recovery oriented practice
  • e-Health, technology and social media
  • Suicide prevention and support
  • Child, youth and family mental health promotion and services
  • Demands for an ageing population
  • Targeted services for vulnerable groups
  • Indigenous mental, social, emotional and environmental health
  • LGBTI mental health promotion and resilience
  • Workplace health and wellbeing
  • Mental health in the custodial and forensic setting
  • Consumer and carer participation and opportunities
  • Offering hope: stories from the front line and lived experience
  • Open topic
Abstract submissions close 10th April, 2015

3rd NCPIC Conference in Melbourne
Organisers are now taking abstract submissions for the 3rd NCPIC conference.
There are specific instructions on the format and style of the abstract which can be found here:

The NCPIC Conference Scientific committee is calling for submissions on a range of issues including:

  • cannabis use and intervention approaches particularly among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities
  • cannabis use and mental health
  • interventions for the prevention and reduction of cannabis use
  • treatment approaches for cannabis use disorder
  • the role of genetics in cannabis use and dependence
  • cannabis and driving
  • toxicology and evidence-based pharmacological applications of cannabinoids
  • the relationship between cannabis, tobacco and other drugs
  • synthetic cannabinoids
  • cannabis and comorbid mental health conditions.
Abstracts can include empirical research (group and single case studies), topic reviews, clinical issues and initiatives
Abstract submissions close 1st May, 2015

Read – professional reading

Fitzpatrick, J. P., Latimer, J., Carter, M., Oscar, J., Ferreira, M. L., Carmichael Olson, H., ... & Elliott, E. J. (2015). Prevalence of fetal alcohol syndrome in a populationbased sample of children living in remote Australia: The Lililwan Project. Journal of paediatrics and child health.

Keane, C., Magee, C. A., & Lee, J. K. (2015) Childhood trauma and risky alcohol consumption: A study of Australian adults with low housing stability.  Drug and Alcohol Review, 34(1), 18-26.
Request from the library

Khanjani, Z., Mosanezhad Jeddi, E., Hekmati, I., Khalilzade, S., Etemadi Nia, M., Andalib, M., & Ashrafian, P. (2015). Comparison of Cognitive Empathy, Emotional Empathy, and Social Functioning in Different Age Groups. Australian Psychologist, 50(1), 80-85.
Online access for Healthy Options workers:

Petitjean, S. A., Dürsteler-MacFarland, K. M., Krokar, M. C., Strasser, J., Mueller, S. E., Degen, B., ... & Farronato, N. S. (2014). A randomized, controlled trial of combined cognitive-behavioral therapy plus prize-based contingency management for cocaine dependence. Drug and alcohol dependence, 145, 94-100.


Attend – informal learning sessions, journal club, seminar series

Journal club (available to Healthy Options workers only)
Journal club for March will be included as part of the Healthy Options national workshop program.  Presenter and topic to be announced.
Date: TBC
Online course - An Introduction to Global Health
Online course facilitated by the University of Copenhagen. Modules include: Global Health Governance and Health Systems, Epidemiological Transition and Global Burden of Diseases, Infectious Diseases, Environment, Sanitation and Climate Change, Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs), Mental Health and Injuries, Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR), Migration, Disasters and Emergency Health.
Free online course: Participants receive a “Statement of Attainment”
Duration: 6 weeks
Weekly time commitment: 3-5hrs
Enrol before: 13th April
Online course – Leadership: Identity, Influence and Power
Offered by the Macquarie Graduate School of Management, this free online course examines recent research into leadership and its practical application in the workplace. Modules include: the romance of leadership, leadership theories, leader and followers, and the practice of leadership.
Free online course: Participants receive a “Certificate of Achievement”
Duration: 4 weeks
Weekly time commitment: 2-4hrs
Enrol before: Check website for March dates

Attend - conferences

Australasian Drug and Alcohol Strategy Conference
The conference is organised by the Queensland Police Service and Australian Federal Police and covers research and initiatives addressing the harms of AOD.  There is also a focus on shared experiences and forming interagency partnerships.
Conference is held in Brisbane.
Date: 17th-20th March


Listen – podcasts, webinars, presentations

Network MindOUT! webinar
Topic is yet to be confirmed.  Details will be provided as soon as possible.  Network MindOUT! is a national LGBTI suicide prevention project.
Date: 11th March
It Just Crept In: The Digital Age and Its Implications for Social Work Practice
Dr. Faye Mishna discusses her research examining social workers' experiences and how communication technology has entered their daily practice. Existing literature has highlighted the risks involved, but Dr. Mishna recommends that social workers rethink the restrictions and attempt to maximize the potential that may be present. Based on her research, she makes practical suggestions and discusses practice implications of embracing this technology.
Duration: 25mins
Improving lives through virtual reality therapy
Advancements in virtual reality technology have not only led to improved experiences for people who enjoy video games but they are also treating very serious psychological and physical disabilities. In this episode, psychologist Albert “Skip” Rizzo, PhD, discusses research into the effectiveness of virtual reality therapy and how this technology can improve the therapist-client relationship.
Duration: 12mins

Busting the charity overhead myth
Juanita Wheeler busts the overhead myth in this powerful talk around her journey from high-powered for-profit marketing exec to non-for-profit overhead.
Duration: 11mins

Insight Webinars for March
Down and out in Paris and London
Dr Jeremy Hayllar, Clinical Director of Metro North Mental Health - Alcohol and Drug Service, discusses "methadone buses" in Amsterdam and other innovative models of service in Europe.
Date: Wednesday, 4th March, 9am

Cultural, social and trauma perspectives of AOD
Dan Nguyen, Capacity Building Officer at QPASTT, discusses issues around AOD and cultural, social and trauma perspectives.  Recovery model and working with Vietnamese clients will also be discussed
Date: Wednesday, 11th March, 9am

A novel approach to harm reduction
Dr. David Caldicott, Consultant Emergency Physician at Calvary Hospital ACT, discusses his most recent findings in relation to novel psychoactive substances and strategies to reduce harm for people using psychoactive substances.
Date: Wednesday, 18th March, 9am

Resilience based practice in AOD services
Andrew Bruun, Director of Research, Education. Advocacy and Practice at Youth Support and Advocacy Service, examines contemporary resilience research and how this can inform practice to help address AOD problems and co-occurring behavioural issues.
Date: Wednesday, 25th March,  9am

To register or join an Insight webinar see: