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Media & Mental Health Group

Are you aware that there is a national committee brought together by the federal government, which consists of a number of high level media & journalism representatives as well as selected government bureaucrats & Mental Health organization representatives [on the group I represent the Australian Mental Health Consumer Network]?

The group has done some excellent work in setting up media guidelines for reporting on mental illness and suicide; on researching and analysing media reporting on these issues; creating information & resource kits for persons in the media; establishing a web presence for the resources and in creating a journalism educational resource for university based journalism courses, it also sponsors a feedback service called "stigmawatch" [SANE Australia] which intervenes and interacts with persons companies or media who are reported for discriminatory or stigmatising representations around mental illness.

The "Media & Mental Health" group works towards improved relationships, and optimum reporting standards on matters related to mental illness and suicide. All aspects of media and advertising are targeted. Our latest resource, produced in May 2006, is highly pertinent to the theme of World Mental Health Day, so, I am bringing it to your attention. As it is available free on the web, it is something that may be of great use to our AMHCN membership.

Suicide and Mental Illness in the Media:

A NEW Mindframe Resource for the Mental Health Sector

'Suicide and Mental Illness in the Media' is a new suite of resources that has been developed specifically for the mental health sector to provide support and information in their work with journalists and the media. The resources have been produced under the National Mindframe Initiative by a project consortium group. All resources are available to download from the 'Mindframe for the mental health sector' website at:

National Mental Health Consumer and Carer Forum

(NOTE name change)

Melbourne 27th & 28th April 06

Day one saw the election of Co-Chairperson (Consumer) Isabell Collins (Vic.)

And Deputy Co- Chairperson (Consumer) Vivian Jarrett (Blue Voices)

After a budget update we were given a Presentation on the Reduction of Seclusion & Restraint (A DVD has been promised, that tells all!) Auseinet followed with a Presentation, Susan Mitchell left us with some well produced resources  will get you there.

The State & Territory reports were then tabled, the day concluded with a presentation from John Castley, who is currently on secondment from DIMA to the MHCA, John spoke on the Detention Health Advisory Group, the group has been established to provide independent expert advice on health care for people in immigration detention.

Day two commenced with an informative over view of several topics from Sebastian Rosenberg (Deputy CEO MHCA), this was followed by a briefing from Centre Link, covering DSP & W2W as most of us will be “Grandfathered”, we will not have to worry about “Participation Failure” (replaces breaching!)

Wrapping up the day we looked at Priorities & Projects including COAG, for 2006-7

The two days gave me the opportunity to “Network” with delegates from the other States & Territories, getting a feel for what is good & what is not so good across the Nation.

Wayne Oldfield

National Chairperson
Australian Mental Health Consumers Network



Shadow Minister for Mental Health Gladys Berejiklian today revealed there are just seven dedicated beds for adults with eating disorders in New South Wales.

This represents the failure of the Iemma Labor Government to adequately address a mental health issue that touches thousands of families across the state, Ms Berejiklian said.

In NSW there are only 7 dedicated adult eating disorder beds, she said.

Three of these beds are at Westmead Hospital and service only locals, leaving just four to service the rest of the state.

Where other states provide ongoing support services for sufferers once they leave hospital, no such services exist in NSW.

And the Iemma Labor Government does not provide financial support for non-Government organisations specialising in eating disorders.

Studies in western countries, including Australia, place the rate of people suffering eating disorders at 5% of the population, with females accounting for the majority of cases.

Most of the Area Health Services across NSW do not have any support available for people with eating disorders let alone any comprehensive programmes for prevention and early intervention.

Non-Government community based support services do an outstanding job under difficult circumstances but they are prevented from helping more people because the State Government refuses to fund them.

This is further evidence the Iemma Labor Government is failing to give mental health the priority it deserves, Ms Berejiklian said.

For further comment contact Gladys Berejiklian 0417 236 627





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Australian Mental Health Consumer Network
PO Box 5939, WEST END, QLD, 4101
2/17 Peel Street, SOUTH BRISBANE, QLD, 4101
Tel: + 61 (0) 7 3844 3009
Fax: +61 (0) 7 3844 2609
Email: [email protected]

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