Daily News - Monday 3 November 2014
Getting Dubbo's youth into the right headspace
Mark Rayner, Daily Liberal
Mental health and wellbeing is one of the biggest issues facing people of all ages, but early next year Dubbo's youth will have a place to go and seek help.
Headspace, the National Youth Mental Health Foundation will open its doors at 23 Church Street, Dubbo in January and the service is expected to be an important one.
... Helping establish headspace is a consortia including Western NSW Medicare Local, Dubbo City Council, Western NSW Local Health District, Break Thru People Solutions, Benevolent Society and CentaCare Wilcannia Forbes.
Mental health funds to continue
Penelope Arthur, Queensland Country Life
The federal government has confirmed it will extend funding for vital mental health services introduced as part of the drought relief package beyond the December 30 funding deadline.
No end date has been given for the program but the news will be warmly welcomed by north Queensland mental health advocate Alison Fairleigh, who had been calling on the government to continue fund the $10.7 million Social and Community Support Package into the New Year.
Drought and Poverty in Central Western Queensland
Sandy Paton, Regional Development Australia
The main street in the regional town is lined with dusty four wheel drive vehicles and the people going about their business are tidily dressed in their R.M Williams’s boots, Wrangler jeans and Akubra hats. Your initial perception could be that this is a thriving rural community. However, you would be wrong. If you looked again you would note the vehicles and clothes are starting to show the signs of age and wear and tear, and people are spending only on absolute essentials.
This is the face of hidden poverty caused by drought. Ten of the twelve Local Government Areas that make up the Regional Development Australia Fitzroy and Central West area have been drought declared. Nine of the ten have full drought declarations with the Central Highlands region being partially declared.
No shame in homelessness other than in being able to help but choosing no to
Kylie Lang, The Sunday Mail
Women account for 60 per cent of Brisbane’s homeless, according to Anglicare, but make themselves “invisible”.
The risk of assault, rape or exploitation is too great.
Many have children who also need protecting.
This is why you rarely see women sleeping in parks or queuing for a cuppa at charity vans, why you pass them in shopping centres, fast food outlets or other well-patronised places without noticing.
Child protection: how to keep vulnerable kids with their families
Aron Shlonsky and Robyn Mildon
After a long period of expansion in the number of children living in out-of-home care, most modern child protection systems around the world have been labouring to prevent such placements. Instead, they’re choosing to work more closely with families to safely maintain children in their own homes.
There are many reasons for this shift. First, taking someone’s children away from them has to rank as one of the most drastic, costly and intrusive acts a government can carry out. This is recognised by each state’s substantial protection of family rights.
Young people transitioning from out-of-home care in Victoria
Philip Mendes, Pamela Snow and Susan Baidawi, VCOSS
There has been longstanding concern about the over-representation of young people in the youth justice system who have a background in out-of-home care, and the lack of support these care leavers receive when they are released from custody. These ‘dual order’ child protection and youth justice clients often present with complex needs which cannot be adequately addressed within a single service sector or at a single point in the life of the young person.
US - How to Turn Around Troubled Teens
Scott O. Lilienfeld and Hal Arkowitz, Scientific American
Psychologists have long struggled with how to treat adolescents with conduct disorder, or juvenile delinquency, as the condition is sometimes called when it comes to the attention of the courts. Given that the annual number of juvenile court cases is about 1.2 million, these efforts are of great societal importance. One set of approaches involves “getting tough” with delinquents by exposing them to strict discipline and attempting to shock them out of future crime. These efforts are popular, in part because they quench the public's understandable thirst for law and order. Yet scientific studies indicate that these interventions are ineffective and can even backfire. Better ways to turn around troubled teens involve teaching them how to engage in positive behaviors rather than punishing them for negative ones.
Tasmania's Health Minister made no promises about improving north-west drug services at a forum in Smithton on Friday night.
About 350 people attended the forum run by Rural Health Tasmania in response to concerns about the use of methamphetamine, also known as ice, among teenagers.
The issue divided the Circular Head community, as residents debated who was to blame for the growing problem.
While some in the crowd dismissed the notion of a local ice epidemic, one resident alleged that outlaw motorcycle gangs were to blame.
Review of Drug Use and Service Responses in North West Tasmania
Tasmanian Department of Health and Human Services
... at this stage, there does not appear to be any emerging data to support the view that there is a significant issue (or ‘epidemic’) in the use of methamphetamine or other ATS in the North West. In fact, the available data indicates that ATS use is more of a concern in the North and South.
Marcia Langton warns of remote ice crisis
Patricia Karvelas, The Australian ($)
“Ice is becoming more widespread in Aboriginal communities,” Professor Langton said. “We heard many reports of ice or methamphetamines in remote communities. Whereas it was once marijuana and Kava, now there is a youth epidemic of amphetamine use and there are organised drug-dealing syndicates that have a network of distributors in Aboriginal communities who market drugs.
New synthetic drugs spreading to remote NT: police
Amos Aikman, The Australian
... Detective Superintendent Fuller said there had been no significant ice seizures in the Territory’s remote communities.
“Hard drugs, we really don’t see it,” he said. “Probably the biggest limiting factor is the lack of disposable income in those communities. They couldn’t afford to buy ice regularly.”
Alcohol, cannabis and kava abuse in the bush was usually episodic, dependant on availability, whereas ice addicts needed access to the drug constantly.
Don’t call us problem gamblers – we’re addicts
Carolyn Hirsh, The Canberra Times
Relief floods through me as I arrive at the venue. The pleasurable feeling is triggered by a combination of dopamine and opioids in my brain, lighting the well-worn path of the synapses that addiction has created. The bright doorway is enough. Horror and dread dissipate. I have two $50 notes in my wallet, enough pleasure for the evening, and of course I maywin. The colours and music that engulf my senses as I enter the venue contrast with the silent patrons, each alone on a stool in front of a poker machine. The aloneness has been increased by grouping machines in circles, facing outwards, instead of rows. Gamblers can't even see each other.
The stigma of Ebola in Brisbane's African community
Gabrielle Burke, ABC (audio)
The threat of Ebola has been growing with several Ebola health alerts in Queensland recently.
612 ABC Community correspondent for Brisbane's African community Akua Afriyie spoke with members of her community about both the threat of Ebola and also the stigma and judgement many in the community are suffering because of this disease.
For those living with a mental health illness, speaking about it can be difficult.
And for the migrant carers trying to help their loved ones, it’s not any easier.
A film project, titled "Our Voices" has captured the difficulties migrant communities face when acknowledging mental illness in the family.
In five different languages – Vietnamese, Arabic, Dari, Turkish and Somali – carers from different cultures spoke about their similar struggles.
The Difference Between Shame And Guilt, And Why It Matters
Herbert Lui, Lifehacker
Although shame and guilt may seem similar, shame is highly correlated with addiction, depression and aggression. In contrast, guilt is linked to empathy and understanding other perspectives.
What’s the difference? In a TED talk, academic Brené Brown explains it thus:
Shame is a focus on self, guilt is a focus on behaviour. Shame is, “I am bad.” Guilt is, “I did something bad.” How many of you, if you did something that was hurtful to me, would be willing to say, “I’m sorry. I made a mistake?” How many of you would be willing to say that? Guilt: I’m sorry. I made a mistake. Shame: I’m sorry. I am a mistake.
But it’s not just a petty matter of semantics. Brown goes on to explain ...
UK - I am amazed by the strength of the human spirit and never give up hope
Lucy Johnstone, The Guardian
Every day as I drive to work, I know I am going to hear some truly harrowing stories.
I’m a clinical psychologist working in a community mental health team. The first task, if it is a Thursday, is making possible the weekly meeting where we take an in-depth look at the reasons for a particular client’s breakdown. We spend about an hour sharing our thoughts, feelings and knowledge of the evidence, and this enables us to summarise our ideas about the possible reasons for the client’s current distress.
A typical person might have been bullied, neglected or abused as a child; subjected to domestic violence as an adult; and now be on benefits and struggling to feed and clothe their children.
Changes to deeming rate thresholds to hit 530,000 pensioners
Patricia Karvelas, The Australian ($)
About 530,000 pensioners will be worse off as a result of Tony Abbott’s decision to cut deeming rate thresholds, according to the Department of Social Services.
Asked in estimates hearings by Labor senators how many Australian pensioners would be moved on to a lower part-pension as a result of the changes to the deeming rate thresholds, the department’s Ian Joyce said: “We estimate that 530,000 customers would have a reduction in payment.”
The Entitlement of Age
Emily Millane, Per Capita
Not only is it a moral imperative for civilized societies to counteract inequality, the message has become clear: inequality is actually harmful for economic growth.
Inequality is a burden which we are carrying. It is, to invoke the lexicon of our Treasurer, the biggest leaner in our society.
Today I want to consider the future directions of Australian policy in the area of the age pension through the prism of inequality.
Let's cast off the shackles of inequality
Mikayla Novak, The Sydney Morning Herald
A number of welfare advocacy groups, such as the Australian Council of Social Service, tell us that poverty in Australia is worsening, if we take the numbers of households earning half the median income (adjusted for household composition and housing costs) as the poverty benchmark.
This focus on "relative poverty", in this case the level of income attained by certain households compared with others in the community, does not reveal whether the living standards of the poor, or anybody else, have improved or declined.
Equality does not just depend upon prosperity, it generates prosperity, says Shorten
Bill Shorten, speech to the Australian Christian Lobby National Conference
There is a view in some quarters of Australia that we have to choose between growth and equality.
That they are mutually exclusive.
Labor knows that equality is not the child of growth – it is the twin of growth.
Equality does not just depend upon prosperity, it generates prosperity.
Everyone benefits, when we include everyone.
Labor needs new narrative, Macklin says
Michelle Grattan, The Conversation
Opposition frontbencher Jenny Macklin says Labor should frame its policies around delivering “inclusive growth” and needs a new narrative to explain its agenda to the Australian people.
In a major speech for The Conversation’s Future of Welfare conference today, Macklin, who is spokeswoman for families, says Labor’s great reformers Bob Hawke and Paul Keating recognised that social policy is a key driver of economic growth.
Milne considers Greens' future
Sophie Morris, The Saturday Paper
Reflecting on the role the Greens played in supporting the Gillard government, Milne says it shows the dilemma for the party: when it is in a power-sharing role, it can achieve policy outcomes but invariably loses votes.
The party’s primary vote plummeted in 2013, despite the fact it had achieved its central goal of pricing carbon.
Raise the GST? No thanks. Here's five better ways to fix Australia's finances
David Hetherington, The Guardian
Like the arrival of the jacaranda bloom, the GST hike made its annual appearance in Australia this week. This is the hardy perennial of Australian public policy, and the usual arguments were on hand to welcome its arrival.
The federation’s revenues are broken, Tony Abbott tells us, and the only way to fix them is to “look at” the GST. John Daley of the Grattan Institute argues that an increase would raise about $14bn, and would be a “necessary evil”. The Business Council hasn’t yet trotted out its standard line of linking the GST rise to a company tax cut, but one suspects it can’t be too far away.
These views represent a profound intellectual laziness among Australia’s policy elite.
Why I Am A Catholic
Ross Douthat, The New York Times
Of all the columns I imagined writing when I started out at this job, it’s safe to say that Sunday’s piece, in which I suggested that conservative Catholics should “resist” their pope if he seems intent on leading the church off a doctrinal precipice, was not one of them. So it’s worth saying something briefly about my own personal religious perspective on the church to which I belong.
Cardinal Pell's Homily at 10th Anniversary of Iuventutem
George Pell, Zenit
Today we have on of the more unusual popes in history, enjoying almost unprecedented popularity. He is doing a marvelous job backing the financial reforms.
We all have an important task during the next twelve months i.e. to explain and build a consensus out of the present divisions. We will be counter productive if we have anger or hate in our hearts, if we lapse into sterile polemics against a surprisingly small number of catholic opponents. Our task is to explain the necessity of conversion, the nature of the Mass, the purity of heart Scriptures requires to receive Holy Communion. We, and especially you young people, must live this in love, giving reason for your hope. This is a unique opportunity which we must seize in God’s name.
Pope Francis has paid tribute to what he calls the “unknown saints” — those who flee war, hunger, and poverty, the jobless, and the homeless.
Francis marked the Catholic Church’s Nov. 1 All Saints Day by celebrating Mass and giving a homily Saturday in Rome’s sprawling Verano cemetery.
He hailed those who are forced to flee their homes and villages to save their lives, risking hunger, illness and cold. He lamented that sometimes people regard these refugees, including hungry, ill children “as if they are of another species, not human.”