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IN THE NEWS

News items from Australian newspapers, media releases, etc.
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Helping hand for nation's mentally ill
(The Daily Telegraph)
6th April 2006
When the mental asylums of last century shut down in the '60s, '70s and '80s, the great social vision was to allow people with mental illness greater independence and the ability to integrate into society better.

Better mental health
(The Australian)
6th April 2006
The states must pay up to help fix the mental health crisis.

Mentally ill 'miss out on housing'
(The Australian)
6th April 2006
The architect of the policy that released thousands of people from asylums says the Howard Government is still failing to answer the need for accommodation for the mentally ill left on the street.

Mentally ill homeless left to states
(The Australian)
6th April 2006
John Howard has added $1.8 billion to federal mental healthcare spending, but left the states to deal with the mentally ill who roam the streets because of the shutdown of psychiatric hospitals over the past two decades.

Age-old fear, leaving a broken mind
(The Australian)
6th April 2006
Elizabeth Byrne has a simple hope for her daughter Emma. It is that after she has died, Emma will continue to live in "an environment that's safe and where she'll find some joy in her life".

Cannabis hotline to help teens
(The Australian)
6th April 2006
Teenagers will be targeted at high school in an effort to get to people with mental illnesses when they have their first episode.

depressioNet Users Respond to Prime Minister's Announcement on Mental Health
(Media Release)
6th April 2006
MELBOURNE – Australia’s only 24/7 online support service for people with mental illness, depressioNet.com.au, is abuzz with chatter about the Prime Minister’s announcement of increased funding for the country’s mental health system.

PM Takes Welcome First Step On Mental Health Crisis - Two Steps To Go
(Media Release)
5th April 2006
“The Prime Minister’s announcement today of $1.8bn over five years in new funding for mental heath is a very welcome first step towards addressing Australia’s mental health crisis”, said John Mendoza, CEO of the Mental Health Council of Australia.

Better Mental Health Services For Australia
(Media Release)
5th April 2006
On 10 February this year in Canberra, my colleagues and I on the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) committed to reforming the mental health system in Australia. Since then, the Commonwealth has been discussing this matter at officials’ level with the States and Territories.

MPs present plan to relieve crisis in mental health
(The Age)
31st March 2006
MENTAL health services are in crisis across Australia, according to a report by politicians from all major parties that demands urgent action by state and federal governments.

High-profile sufferers of depression help to destigmatise mental illness
(Media Release)
31st January 2006
In announcing his resignation due to depression, West Australian Premier Geoff Gallop showed tremendous courage and assisted in destigmatising mental illness, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Health and Ageing, Christopher Pyne, has said.

Counselling and exercise effective for mental health - survey finds
(Media Release)
30th January 2006
High levels of stress, being overweight and physically inactive, are the most common health concerns for people with mental illnesses, revealed in the latest survey by SANE Australia.

depressioNet Reports Increased Use Of Online Support Service For Workplace-Related Depression
More than 200,000 Australians turn to depressioNet.com.au each year for information help and 24-hour peer support, a figure that increases by 20 percent each year. 79% of those people are workers who say depressioNet has helped them maintain employment while living with depression. Bullying in the workplace is identified as a contributing problem.

(Media Release)
20th January 2006
MELBOURNE – Not-for-profit website depressioNet.com.au (dNet) has recorded a surge of users after recent high-profile Australians have made public admissions about depression.

depressioNet Announces New Era and Role for Founder
depressioNet Seeks New CEO to Lead Groundbreaking Not-for-Profit Organisation

(Media Release)
18th January 2006
MELBOURNE - Online interactive website and 24-hour service depressioNet.com.au announced the search for a new CEO, after accepting the resignation of Founder and CEO Leanne Pethick.

20% of children have a parent with a mental illness
(The Age)
1st January 2006
More than one in five Australian children are living with at least one parent with a mental illness, Bureau of Statistics figures show.

Tangled up in blues
(The Age)
11th December 2005
The dominant treatment for mental illness focuses more on brain chemistry than on human behaviour or personal distress. Peter Ellingsen wonders what we are covering up with drugs.

Online 'depressioNet' Service To Get Significant Support From MBF Living Well Foundation
(Media Release)
7th December 2005
In one of its first major funding initiatives, the recently formed MBF Living Well Foundation has agreed in principle to provide significant support to the online ‘depressioNet’ service.

New help for 1 in 10 Australians affected by anxiety
(Media Release)
29th November 2005
SANE Australia today launched ‘The SANE Guide to Anxiety Disorders’ to provide answers to common questions about anxiety and practical steps to reduce symptoms and feelings of fear.

Drugs and Mental Illness Link is Real
(Media Release)
13th November 2005
The Mental Health Council of Australia is advising that the link between cannabis use and drug related psychosis is irrefutable and there is a need to review strategies to reduce demand and supply.

Our mentally ill can no longer be ignored
(The Weekend Australian)
31st October 2005
IT'S 10 years since the Easton royal commission ripped the guts out of Carmen Lawrence's potentially stellar political career. Lawrence was found to have lied about her knowledge of a flawed petition tabled in the West Australian parliament.

depressioNet Saved With Financial Assistance from Federal Govt and Support of Media
Media Release
15th October 2005
Voices of People Living with Depression Gain Minister's Ear
Online interactive site and 24-hour service depressioNet.com.au (dNet) avoided closure Friday night after a tough day of negotiations with the federal government.

Painting can be just the right medicine
(The Age)
11th October 2005
KAREN Hall has bipolar disorder — the condition formerly known as manic depression — and no one was more surprised than her when she enrolled in an art therapy course and started painting flowers.

Depression drug linked to birth defects
(The Age)
10th October 2005
PREGNANT women taking the popular antidepressant paroxetine are being urged to consult their doctor after the drug was linked to birth defects.

Care link for baby's mother
(The Warrnambool Standard)
28th September 2005
KOROIT'S Jason Groves found a unique remedy for his clinical depression - football umpiring.
You would think just about the last thing someone suffering from depression would want to do is get abused by a football crowd every weekend but Groves, 27, is thriving after taking up his new hobby.

Healthy goals
(The Warrnambool Standard)
28th September 2005
A BOX of tissues sits on Kerin Wheeler's desk.
It does not take pride of place, nor it is particularly prominent. But it is a steadfast presence.
Ms Wheeler, a Warrnambool City Council maternal child health care nurse, deals with new parents and young babies every day.

Exercise Physiologists Eligible To Provide Services Under Medicare
(Media Release)
27th September 2005
The Commonwealth Government has decided to include the services of university trained exercise physiologists under Medicare’s allied health measure.

ACT Government’s ‘New Strategy’ No Solution to Mental Health Problems for Canberra
(Media Release)
21st September 2005
The ACT Government was stuck in yesterday’s paradigm according to the Chief Executive of the Mental Health Council of Australia John Mendoza.
"Putting more money into new buildings located at hospitals doesn’t help people with mental illness stay well in the community..."

Australia’s mental health crisis: leadership and action needed, not squabbling
(Media Release)
20th September 2005
National leadership is urgently needed to tackle the crisis in services for the mentally ill exposed by last night’s FOUR CORNERS program, says Barbara Hocking, Executive Director of mental health charity, SANE Australia.

Depression lifts with talking cure
(The Age)
7th August 2005
As a 16-year-old, Sally Manning was so depressed she could not get out of bed. She skipped VCE classes and eventually got so down she tried to take her life. Fortunately, the overdose did not succeed, and she was taken to Angliss Hospital in Ferntree Gully.

Early intervention plan for mentally ill
(The Age)
22nd July 2005
An estimated one in five people aged 14 to 24 has a mental health problem but is falling through the cracks of a system that is not geared to help them.

Mental health special reports
(Port Lincoln Times)
8th August 2005
IN Tumby Bay between 1986 and 1995, there were 12 suicides in 10 years.
This was three times the national average.
Tumby Bay GP Dr Graeme Fleming said the tragedies raised an awareness of a "significant mental health problem in the community that was not being met".

A mother's struggle
(Herald Sun)
31th July 2005
Good Morning Australia's Leah Hudson -- who describes herself as a "yummy mummy" -- has spoken of her battle with postnatal depression.

Mental health inquiry tackles system in crisis
(Sydney Morning Herald)
18th February 2005
The parlous state of mental health services, including state-federal divisions over funding responsibility, will be investigated in a wide-ranging Senate inquiry.

Magnets point the way
(Sydney Morning Herald)
10th February 2005
A new therapy is providing hope for sufferers of extreme depression, writes Alex Wilde.
Known as repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS), the treatment stimulates the brain using strong magnetic fields, and has been showing success in people who are resistant to anti-depressant medication or who can't tolerate medication.

Healthy for wallet as drugs price slashed
(The Australian)
9th February 2005
Thirty of the most commonly prescribed medicines used to treat blood pressure, depression and digestive problems are set to fall in price after April 1.

Black Dog Institute Credentials Recognised As Professor Named Amongst The Nation’s Top Scientists
(Media Release)
24th March 2004
The international reputation of the NSW-based Black Dog Institute has been boosted following the naming of its Executive Director, Professor Gordon Parker, amongst the world’s leading researchers.

The Happiness Institute Opens In Australia
(Media Release)
4th March 2004
Australia’s first ever clinic devoted solely to teaching people how to be happy has opened in Sydney. The Happiness Institute is one of the first clinics of its kind in the world and practices one of the most exciting breakthroughs in contemporary health care – positive psychology.

Depression pill removal to affect thousands
(Sydney Morning Herald)
23rd January 2004
Thousands of Australians with mood disorders will be forced to switch to another antidepressant or cease medication altogether after the manufacturer of Serzone decided to take it off the market from May.

Discontinuation Of Serzone (nefazodone) in Australia
Media Release
20th January 2004

Why must the shrink be a doctor?
(Sydney MOrning Herald)
15th January 2004
Dick Crane is qualified in medicine, but for him, accessing publicly funded mental health services is intensely personal. Several years ago, his daughter developed a serious mental illness, requiring ongoing intensive treatment. After visits to three senior psychiatrists, and in an ever-worsening condition, she was admitted to a psychiatric intensive care unit in a suicidal state - unable to continue her schooling and seriously ill.

GPs back mental health scheme
(Sydney MOrning Herald)
15th January 2004
GPs struggling to deal with mental health problems among patients are turning to a new federal program that brings psychologists and psychiatrists into consulting rooms.

Pollies Pledge To "Break Depression Fast"
(Media Release 18/09/2003)
Parliamentarians from both sides of the house will set aside their differences today to help put mental health at the top of the political agenda.

New Allegron Likely Before Stocks Run Out; Emergency Supplies of 25mg Tablets Available
(Released on behalf of Aspen Pharmacare from Fraser Crossman Communications.)
New locally-produced stocks of Allegron will be available in four weeks, prior to existing supplies running out.

New manufacturing of Allegron underway
(Released on behalf of Aspen Pharmacare from Fraser Crossman Communications.)
I am pleased to inform you that we have appointed Sigma Pharmaceuticals to manufacture Allegron.

New Manufacturing Of Anti-Depressant Allegron Underway
(Released on behalf of Aspen Pharmacare from Fraser Crossman Communications.)
Allegron distributor Aspen Pharmacare aims to ensure continuous supplies of the anti-depressant are available to patients with the appointment of Sigma Pharmaceuticals as the medicine's new manufacturer.

Anti-Depressant Distributor Assures Patients Of Allegron Supply
(Released on behalf of Aspen Pharmacare from Fraser Crossman Communications.)
The makers of the antidepressant Allegron have made a committment to continue the supply of it to the Australian public.

Changing tune, Carr tackles blues with millions for depression
(Sydney Morning Herald)
Almost three years after arguing against the concept, the Premier, Bob Carr, will today announce the establishment of a scientific institute to tackle depression.

Australia's First National Telephone Counselling And Referal Service For Men
(Media Release 02/10/2001)
Men's Line Australia, the first national men's telephone counselling service, was officially launched on September 26, 2001.

More Doctors For Rural Australia
(Media Release 06/06/2001)
The Federal Health Minister Dr Michael Wooldridge has today introduced legislation into the Parliament that ensures rural and remote areas of Australia will continue to have increased access to general practitioners.

Peak Mental Health Bodies Seek Immediate Resolution Of Discriminatory Insurance Practices
(Media Release 04/06/2001)
The Mental Health Council of Australia (MHCA) and beyondblue, the National Depression Initiative, have called on the Investments & Financial Services Association for an immediate round table discussion regarding Insurance companies practices for people who, or have, experience mental health disorders.


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