Daily News - Friday 10 October 2014

Posted 10 October 2014 7:41am

Vinnies bears witness to mental distress of asylum seekers
St Vincent de Paul Society

The St Vincent de Paul Society National Council of Australia has called on its more than 60,000 members to take heart, and continue their efforts to assist asylum seekers and refugees, in the face of the most recent policy changes from the government.

Chief Executive Dr John Falzon said it was fitting during Mental Health Week (Oct 5 to 11) to highlight the long-lasting impacts of mandatory detention on men, women and children detained in Australia and offshore, as well as the uncertainty and poverty faced by refugees living in the community.


Depression and me: there are good and bad weeks, but walking with my shadow is becoming easier
Van Badham, The Guardian

It’s of bleak amusement to me that I’ve missed most of mental health week in Australia because I’ve been struck down with depression.

This being said, I’m grateful for the event, in particular the ABC programming around it, as it’s provided a safe social mechanism to explain to others just why I’ve had to opt out of the week’s activities.

My relationship with depression is the most enduring of my life, having emerged sometime in my late childhood and, like a habitual sweetheart, revisited me intermittently and with varying degrees of impact.


Mental illness hurts our economy - it’s time companies got proactive
John Mendoza, The Conversation

Mental health disorders are the greatest contributor to the burden of disability and the third largest contributor to the burden of disease after all cancers and all cardio-vascular diseases. But unlike the progress we have made over the past 30 years in both cancer and CVD, life expectancy for people with severe mental illnesses has not improved nor has their participation in employment.


Observations from a workplace wellness project

This article describes a workplace wellness project undertaken by Anglicare Sydney’s Shoalhaven Centre in the context of organisational change and distress experienced by staff. Management was concerned to respond so as to support the individual, manage safety risks and ensure quality, consistent and stable services.


The NDIS One Year In: Experiences of carers in the Hunter trial site

Carers NSW issues paper, 'The NDIS one year in: Experiences of carers in the Hunter trial site,' summarises key issues arising for carers from the first year of the NSW trial of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

Carers NSW has been closely following the rollout of the NDIS in the NSW trial site in order to identify any issues emerging for carers. While people with disability, not carers, are the focus of the NDIS, sustainable informal care arrangements will be critical for the Scheme to succeed.


Low Income Families Crushed by Rent in Outer Suburbs
Pro Bono News

Outer suburban and regional electorates are home to some of the most rent stressed households in Victoria and $200 million investment in social housing and new housing is needed every year to fix the problem, according to a new analysis of ABS figures.

The Melbourne suburbs of Broadmeadows, Thomastown, Dandenong, St Albans, Frankston and Melton were amongst the top 10 worst electorates for rental stress in Victoria according to the Council for Homeless Persons (CHP).


Forrest Healthy Welfare Card may exploit indigenous people: agencies
Patricia Karvelas, The Australian

Two of the nation’s largest welfare groups have come out strongly against mining magnate Andrew Forrest’s Healthy Welfare Card, arguing that it will place indigenous people at risk of financial exploitation.

The Forrest plan puts 100 per cent of income support payments on an eftpos card and bans alcohol and gambling. The agencies are concerned that by placing a prohibition on cash, it might influence other behaviours, such as people buying goods, then hocking them for cash.


Civil disobedience at Centrelink, Medicare
Noel Towell and Anna Patty, The Canberra Times

Public servants at the government's largest department plan to flout office dress codes and ignore their bosses' emails and phone calls as well as taking traditional strike action over a bitter pay dispute.

Bosses at the Department of Human Services branded union rhetoric "outrageous" on Thursday after the CPSU lodged its application for protected action at the Fair Work Commission, alleging the department had walked away from wage talks five weeks ago.


Infographic: Finding a policy fix for youth unemployment
Chris Palmer, Eil Jeyaratnam and Veronica Sheen

The youth unemployment rate increased from 12.8% in August to 13.2% in September seasonally adjusted, in line with the slight overall increase in unemployment.

However, the latest figures for 15-24 year olds are consistent with an unemployment rate of around 13% over the last 12 months. An important indicator of the health of the youth labour market is the underemployment rate which measures the number of young people in part time jobs wanting more hours of work. This increased from 15.4% to 16.4% for 15-24 year olds between May and August continuing a long term trend over recent years. This means around 29% of the youth labour force has no work or not enough work at present compared to 14.4% of the labour force as a whole.


Childcare: the new frontier in the culture wars
Trisha Jha, The Spectator

In ancient times (any time before the last decade) the only battles being fought over childcare were whether it was a one-way ticket to therapy as an adult; yet now childcare is the new frontier in the culture wars.

Each time the government has waved the magic regulatory wand over childcare, the closer we have moved towards a world where it is government—not families—who get to determine what sort of adults our children will become.


Keeping kids in school is not as simple as carrots and sticks
Linda J. Graham and Marianne Fenech, The Conversation

... rather than address the root causes of early school leaving and subsequent youth unemployment, Australian governments – both state and federal, past and present – have reached for simple policy levers that will do little to improve the educational chances of children from disadvantaged backgrounds.


Prevention and early detection in young children: challenges for policy and practice
Frank Oberklaid, Medical Journal of Australia

Evidence-based systems of prevention and early intervention have long been a far-reaching goal for health planners and academics. This notion has assumed even greater importance in paediatrics because of the robust research now emerging about the early-life origins of a range of problematic health and psychosocial conditions later in the life course.1 Conditions as diverse as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, mental health problems and criminality have been linked to the environments experienced by unborn and young children. The idea of introducing a health check for children in order to detect emerging problems and risk factors, and offer treatment early in life, seems a natural and welcome policy response.


We had no idea Pope Francis would be such a rock star, say cardinals
Nick Squires, The Telegraph

The cardinals who elected Pope Francis 18 months ago had no inkling that he would turn out to be such a "rock star" pontiff, two of the "princes of the church" have revealed.

Jorge Mario Bergoglio, as he then was, seemed shy and reserved during the conclave, the secret vote in the Sistine Chapel that resulted in his election in March last year, and there were few signs that he would have such an impact not just on the Catholic Church but on the world in general, said Cardinals George Pell of Australia and Timothy Dolan of the United States.


Cardinal Pell: On divorce, I'm sticking with Jesus
Michael O'Loughlin, Crux

Two prominent Catholic cardinals participating in the synod on the family spoke about the need for Catholics to be involved in the public square and Pope Francis’s vision for the Church during a special panel discussion at the North American College Wednesday.

... Pell, now the pope’s chief financial czar, said Catholics, especially clergy, must be involved in the public square.

“I hope you’re not going to be one of those priests or bishops whose primary mission is to keep out of the press,” he told the audience. “If we are silent, we can’t complain that we’re not being heard.”

“Our society desperately needs what we Catholics and what we Christians have to offer,” he said, praising the United States as “one of the most religious societies in history.”

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