Suicide prevention key part of election policies

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Ahead of the Federal Election, major parties and political candidates are being urged to spell out their plan to tackle suicide and self-harm across Australia. It’s been described as a “national emergency”, with latest ABS figures showing the suicide rate has increased by nearly 20% in the past decade. Suicide Prevention Australia CEO Sue Murray says there are nearly 30 federal electorates where the problem has hit an alarming level. If you need help, or someone to talk to, you can call Lifeline on 13 11 14, or on their website.

Calls for better Medicare coverage in prisons

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Despite prisoners having some of the highest rates of mental illness and communicable diseases, Medicare exclusions mean that they are rarely able to access appropriate health services before they return to the community. Researchers have found prisoners are missing out on certain treatments and medications, as they are too expensive to provide without access to Medicare. I spoke to Professor Stuart Kinner, whose research on this topic was  published this week.

New mental health bill before Qld parliament

Last week saw the introduction of a new mental health bill, which is currently before the state parliament. The bill, which replaces the previous 15 year old act, has been applauded by mental health officials for its consumer-focused changes and commitment to community based care. I spoke to Queensland Mental Health Commissioner Dr Lesley van Schoubroeck about the bill, and just what it means for Queenslanders. This October 10 during Mental Health Week, head down to Musgrave Park for Sanity Fair, an event to raise awareness, promote open conversations about mental illness and break down stigma. There’ll be live music, activities, information stalls, a conversations tent and free food, clothing and toiletries so check it out.

New Mental Health Bill enhancing treatment

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A draft Mental Health Bill will be introduced to parliament soon, promising to enhance the way people with mental illness are treated, improve access to support, and ensure the involvement of families. Continue reading New Mental Health Bill enhancing treatment

Commission reveals mental health problems in outback Australia

The National Mental Health Commission released their latest report in April this year, and it revealed that rural & regional Australians are increasingly being forgotten or under-supported by our healthcare system. I spoke to David Butt, CEO of the Commission, about the report’s findings, and what can be done to address this issue. Continue reading Commission reveals mental health problems in outback Australia

4zzz Headlines (Pt. 11)

– Aussie women fail at health guidelines
– Female doctors harassed by their patients
– 2 million Syrian refugees predicted by end of 2014
– NSA review halted by government shutdown
– Greens call for sanctuary for West Papuan activists
– Water a need, not a right: Nestlé
– Fuel leak near Great Barrier Reef ‘small’ Continue reading 4zzz Headlines (Pt. 11)