News and Events
Science Altert - 13 December, 2016
Pets can provide incredible value to our lives, but a new study suggests that it's time doctors and mental health services started considering them more seriously as a source of mental health support.
The Conversation - 13 December, 2016
The highly regarded Journal of the American Medical Association has published a comprehensive review examining the prevalence of depression, depressive symptoms and suicidal thoughts among medical students.
Psychiatry Advisor - 12 December, 2016
Group person-based cognitive therapy (PBCT), which integrates cognitive therapy with mindfulness, is effective in alleviating distress in individuals with psychosis who are hearing voices, according to a study conducted by a UK-based research team.
SFNSW has co-signed a letter to the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) along with other key policy makers expressing
concerns with the NDIS. Among the many issues raised are implementation issues. Read on to find out more.
ABC Online - 7 Dec 2016
Young people have put the spotlight on mental health in a new survey, naming it as one of the top three issues facing Australia.
ABC Online - Dec 5, 2016
A new report from Anglicare released today has suggested that carer's needs are not being met under the NDIS. What do you think?
Dec 4, 2016 - ABC Radio
Psychiatrist Daniel Fisher would like to shift the paradigm of mental health services and empower people to play a strong role in their own recovery so he’s teaching emotional CPR.
BBC News - 1 Dec
The mental health of children is a rising area of concern and one which schools are trying to combat.
Emily Holman is a young carer who is also a youth leader in our fabulous
On Fire program. Great to see her getting recognition and being a
wonderful role model for so many other young carers who go largely
unrecognised by the rest of the nation.
ABC Online - Nov 24, 2016
A year after one young woman's legal win over an insurer who denied her claim, mental health advocates say little has changed.
Medscape - Nov 22, 2016
Levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), a known biomarker of inflammation, are elevated across all mood states in patients with bipolar disorder, with higher levels occurring during periods of mania, new research shows.
Science Daily - Nov 22, 2016
A study by the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium, published Nov 21 in Nature Genetics, analyzed the genomes of more than 41,000 people and reveals several regions of the genome where mutations increase schizophrenia risk between four- and 60-fold.
UCLA - Kathy Svitil - Nov 17, 2016
People who have schizophrenia may be worried that the disorder will prevent them from living independently, pursuing higher education or holding down a demanding job. In reality, many people do manage their illness and live full and highly productive lives.
Psychiatry Advisor - Nov 14, 2016
Sunovion have announced positive results from a study evaluating Latuda (lurasidone HCI) for the treatment of schizophrenia in adolescents aged 13 to 17 years old.
ABC radio Nightlife - Nov 14, 2016
What do we know about bipolar, and what kind of help is out there for sufferers? 47 min radio interview with Dr Edelman.
The Conversation AU - Nov 6, 2016
Search for “stress”, “depression”, “anxiety”, or “mental health” in the app store on your mobile device and you are confronted with a bewildering array of options.
UQ News - Nov 6, 2016
The University of Queensland's Professor John McGrath has won a prestigious international fellowship in the Niels Bohr Professorship Program in Denmark to continue his ground-breaking research into schizophrenia.
Jeff Kennett says tie CEO bonuses to staff mental health
The Australian - October 24, 2016 - Ewin Hannan
Former Victorian premier Jeff Kennett has called for performance bonuses of chief executives to be partially tied to the mental wellbeing of their employees under a radical proposal to be put to the Business Council of Australia today. more ... The Australian (subscriber access only)
Lawyers Weekly - October 24, 2016 - Emma Ryan
Tens of thousands of Australians battling mental illness are being hit with a “double whammy” due to a chronic lack of legal assistance. As part of Mental Health Week last week, National Legal Aid revealed that Australia compares poorly with similar jurisdictions when it comes to providing legal representation for people forced to undergo mental treatment. more ...
ABC PM - October 20, 2016 - Alison Branley
From July 1 the agency that administers the scheme stopped giving people a month's payment in advance, instead asking participants to obtain receipts and claim money back. more ...
ABC News - Oct 12, 2016 - Michael Collett
How do you reach people in rural and regional areas who are dealing with
mental illness when there aren't any professionals in their town?
Technology can help. more...
The Australian - October 14, 2016 - Rick Morton
The $22 billion national disability insurance scheme has reached total
capacity in the ACT less than half a year after full rollout in the
region and new participants who are eligible for support are being
turned away. more...
ABC News - October 10, 2016 - Eliza Buzacott-Speer and Edwina Seselja
Experts say awareness about mental health needs to go beyond simply
sharing a social media post or using a hashtag if the stigma attached to
the issue is to be dismantled. more...
September 22, 2016
Adelaide tops mental health hospitalisation rates, while ACT records lowest, new data shows
read more ...
Hospital stays for people with mental illness avoidable. New report highlights need for investment to ease pressure on hospital system
(22 September 2016) A report released today from the Australian
Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) has highlighted that overnight
hospital stays for people with mental illness accounted for 14% of all
nights that Australians spent in hospital in 2013/2014.
“The majority of readmissions (30%) occur within the first three
months post-discharge. Suicide is most frequent in the first two weeks
after leaving hospital, with most occurring on the first day. “One of
the most vulnerable times for someone with a mental illness
is post-discharge. We need to ensure that when they leave hospital that
they are transitioned into a safe, secure and supported environment.
SFNSW’s Hospital 2 Home program was highly successful in filling this
“Of our Hospital 2 Home participants since December 2015, zero people
have presented at emergency and none have been readmitted to hospital.”
Despite its success, SFNSW’s Hospital 2 Home program has recently been
defunded. See the Hospital 2 Home video on the RHS. Read the full media release and view the AIHW report.
September 6, 2016
What Hillary Clinton's Mental Health Reform Plan Would Accomplish
It's the kind of proposal mental health advocates say they have waited years to see. Last week, Democratic presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, unveiled her comprehensive plan to reform mental healthcare in the United States. The candidate says she ... more
September 6, 2016
Cannabinoid Receptor System Dysregulation in Schizophrenia
The latest pre-clinical and clinical data indicate a possible role of cannabinoid receptors in the development of neuropsychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia. Investigators affiliated with the University of Illinois at Chicago, University of ...more
September 5, 2016
Hopkins, Salk seek new treatments for schizophrenia, bipolar disorder
A new, $15.4 million national collaboration between four academic research centers and two pharmaceutical industry partners aims to develop new ways to study and screen drugs to treat schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. The National Institute of Mental ...more
September 5, 2016
Kate Stone Matheson
We Need To Put Our Heads Together Over Youth Mental Health
According to the latest figures released by KidsMatter, nearly half of all adult mental health issues begin before the age of 14, with three in four emerging before age 24 ...more
September 1, 2016
Drought-stricken communities waiting for mental health services
Drought-stricken areas of Australia are still waiting for crucial mental health services to be restored, leaving many in the bush dangerously vulnerable ...more
August 29, 2016
In latest policy rollout, Clinton puts forward agenda to combat mental illness
Hillary Clinton put forward a package of initiatives Monday aimed at improving the plight of tens of millions of Americans coping with mental illness ...more
August 20, 2016
#ItsOKToTalk: Australian men join viral selfie mental health campaign
Thousands of Australian men have joined a viral selfie campaign to promote open conversations about suicide and mental health. The #ItsOkayToTalk campaign has gathered momentum globally after UK rugby player Luke Ambler posted a selfie... more ...
August 18, 2016
Boost for UQ researcher to develop schizophrenia diagnosis technology
A University of Queensland researcher who is developing new imaging technology to diagnose and treat schizophrenia has received a $200,000 project boost. more ...
August 15, 2016 Woman's Day
Duchess Catherine lends her support to kids' mental health
Duchess Catherine has publicly declared that she and Prince William “wouldn't hesitate” to seek support and assistance if Prince George or Princess Charlotte ever needed assistance with their mental health. more ...
August 11, 2016
Malcolm Turnbull to review ADF mental health services
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said the review, to be conducted by the National Mental Health Commission, would ensure ex-servicemen and women and their families were better supported. more ...
August 8, 2016
Bipolar: Adam Deacon and Stephen Fry on 'lifelong struggle'
Bafta-award-winning actor Adam Deacon says he once worried that bipolar disorder, a condition that causes extreme mood swings, would end his career. more ...
July 25, 2016
Social Services Minister Christian Porter has nominated a $1.4 billion budget saving to be re-directed to NDIS
The saving comes from ending the payment of carbon tax compensation to new recipients of government welfare benefits. more ...
July 25, 2016 Independent (UK)
Mental illness has become a convenient scapegoat for terrorism – but the causes of terror are rarely so simple
The media glosses over the specifics in favour of creating a kind of homogenised bogeyman figure: a religious fundamentalist afflicted by mental illness and immune to rationality. more ...
July 24, 2016 Samantha Olson
Kids With Anxiety Disorders 'Significantly' Benefit From Mindfulness Exercises By Changing Brain Activity
Anxiety disorders plague more than one in four adolescents between the ages of 13 and 18, and many of them are treated with antidepressants and other medications to try and help them live a relatively healthy childhood. more...
July 21, 2016
Blood test being developed could pick up Alzheimer's disease clues long before symptoms show
La Trobe University researchers have identified abnormalities in the blood linked to the degenerative condition, which affects more than 350,000 Australians. more...
June 13, 2016
Money and Mental Health Report
UK charity says that you’re up to 6 times more likely to have debt problems if you have a mental health issue. Urges changes to approach by retail, financial organisations and mental health professionals. Read Money on Your Mind Report ...
June 2, 2016 Legislative Council
Hon Scott Farlow Motion - Schizophrenia Awareness Week
that this House: note Schizophrenia Awareness Week, commend SFNSW for range of activities inc Symposium and Parliamentary Luncheon, commend NGOs for role in mental health sphere, support aims and initiatives to destigmatise mental health illnesses. Read full motion...
SFNSW Parliamentary Luncheon
2 June 2016
Jennifer Westacott - Chair of Mental Health Australia gave a very inspirational speech at our Annual Parliamentary Luncheon. She talked about our duty of kindness to the 1 in 5 Australians who experience mental illness, the need to set targets: bridging the life expectancy gap for people with a mental illness, significantly increasing the employment rate of people with a mental illness, increasing life expectancy, reducing suicide (now higher toll than road deaths. read the entire speech...
Letter re NDIS - maintain mental health programs
MHA and MIFA have written to the Minister for Social Services supporting NDIS, however asking for the rollout to be consistent with the National Mental Health Commission’s report, which recommended: Do not cash out existing mental health and other associated programmes (e.g. carer and respite programmes, D2DL, PHaMS and PiR) into the NDIS until there is evidence as to eligibility for people with a psychosocial disability, and clarity about ongoing support for those who are eligible for Tier 2 support. READ THE LETTER...
Rotary Club Earlwood - Recognising Carers
The Rotary Club of Eastwood, in conjunction with the Schizophrenia Fellowship of NSW held its second annual Schizophrenia Awareness Week function to recognise the contribution of carers of people living with Schizophrenia. Read more ....
May 16, 2016 Age Editorial
... After years of evidence the mental health system was failing, the Turnbull government has started to shift the emphasis to prevention and early intervention. In light of this week's report that antidepressants
are far more effective when used in conjunction with psychotherapies, and given the massive cost of not properly treating mental illness, we urge lawmakers to restore the policy of subsidising up to 16 visits to a
May 18, 2016 Ostara
Schizophrenia Awareness Week: a schizophrenia diagnosis doesn’t have to come between a person and a job
Tom Baxter, CEO of Ostara Australia, sees Terence’s story as a
significant outcome, finding employment that suited him, and who now has
a much brighter future. “People with mental health conditions like
schizophrenia face a range of unique challenges to finding work, so we
work with our participants like Terence to help them overcome these
challenges, build their vocational skills and look for work.” more...
May 17, 2016 AAP
William, Kate, Harry tackle mental health
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry have boxed their
way to mental wellbeing as they launched an ambitious campaign to help
tackle the nation's psychological problems. more...
May 13, 2016 Michael Brissenden
Drought affected communities to lose vital mental health services
Thousands of farmers and families in drought-affected areas are
finding out they'll no longer have access to crucial mental health
services and counselling. With suicide and depression a crippling factor
in the bush, mental health service providers are being told their
federal funding won't be renewed. more...
May 3, 2016 Peter O'Rourke
2016 Federal Budget - Mental Health Australia Summary
On 3 May 2016, the Federal Government presented its Federal Budget
for 2016-17. Mental Health Australia compiled an initial summary of the
Budget measures impacting the mental health sector. Additional analysis
outlines further information specifically relating to changes in funding
arrangements for some services. more...
Download PDF summary. Download PDF Additional Analysis.
4 May, 2016
Art therapy classes help Bendigo patients who have mental health issues
An externally-funded art therapy program in Bendigo for people with
serious mental health issues aims to reduce stigma, with a call for
classes to be an ongoing part of therapy. more...
29 April 2016
New Study Finds Mindfulness Therapy Can Be Effective For Depression
Breathing meditations, yoga, and conquering mindfulness of thoughts
and body could be effective in reducing the chance of a relapse in
people with depression and anxiety, according to a new study. more...
April 20, 2016
Ulladulla Hearing Voices support group provides a safe space
The Ulladulla Hearing Voices support group is a community initiative
to promote recovery for those who hear voices and reduce the stigma
associated with hearing voices. more...
April 18, 2016
Current Status of Clinical Practice Guidelines in Schizophrenia
Evidence-based clinical practice guidelines can potentially enhance
treatment quality and overcome existing disparities in the management of
this disease. more...
April 14, 2016
Improving Muscular Fitness May Benefit People With Bipolar Disorder
Muscular rehabilitation interventions may help people with bipolar
disorder improve their ability to perform daily life activities. more...
March 21, 2016
Mental health services map project could help ‘lost’ patients
A NEW project to map out mental health services throughout WA is
expected to help a “dysfunctional system” and prevent patients getting
lost in the “mental health maze”, says WA’s leading medical group. more...
'More mental health services needed'
Aboriginal health advocates are calling for better access to mental health professionals in remote communities. more...
1 Mar 2016
Reducing Inflammation May Improve Cognition in Schizophrenia
Cognition may improve significantly in schizophrenia patients when
they are given anti-inflammatory treatment along with standard
schizophrenia therapy, according to researchers at the Medical College
of Georgia at Augusta University. more...
Feb 18, 2016
Mental health experts gather to talk about ice addictions, treatment and solutions
Drug treatment services are still waiting to receive the $241 million
the Federal Government promised in response to the National Ice
Taskforce's report. more...
February 10, 2016
Low B12 Seen in Aging, Autism and Schizophrenia
The brains of the elderly and younger people with autism and
schizophrenia may share a common link: Both have low levels of vitamin
B12, researchers say. more..
February 10, 2016
The design of work needs to change to prevent mental illness
Workplaces need to move beyond promoting mental health awareness and
start changing the way work is designed to prevent psychological harm. more...
February 3, 2016
Australians are spending more on mental health services and employers need to take notice
New data released by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare
(AIHW) shows that Australians spent an estimated A$8 billion on mental
health related services in 2013-14.more...
12 Jan, 2016
Bern Young and Damien Larkins
Photographer Steve Parish focuses on helping others through mental illness
For more than 50 years, Steve Parish
has been photographing Australia's unique places, plants and animals and
sharing his knowledge with others. Now he is using his skills to help
people dealing with depression and anxiety. more...