Daily News - Friday 25 July 2014

Posted 25 July 2014 7:29am

Like throwing peanuts to the monkeys
Francis Lynch, Comments & Musings

I’ve been reviewing 16 DSS Grant applications in the last couple of days. Like many other Australian community service organisations Ruah has been frantically working on them for the last 5 weeks – I hope that it’ll be worth the effort.

As has been mentioned elsewhere there will be tens of thousands of applications for these grants from all around Australia – I feel like we’ll be lucky to get any of our applications approved.


The Child Care Report That No-One Is Talking About
Ben Eltham, New Matilda

Getting access to affordable local child care can make all the difference for a young family, but many are finding that increasing fees have priced them out of care.

That often means that parents looking after young children can’t work, or at least can’t work as much as they want to.

So the Productivity Commission’s latest report is important, and not least because it proposes some significant policy changes for the sector as a whole.


Child abuse reports increase but less than half investigated: report
Rachel Browne, The Age

The number of child abuse reports increased by 15 per cent over the past two years, but more than half of all reports were never investigated by authorities, according to new figures from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare.

Almost 273,000 reports were made about children at risk nationally in 2012-13, up from a low of 237,000 in 2010-11.

Child welfare experts attributed the increase to greater pressures on families and a heightened awareness of abuse.


Victoria - Care providers warn state system leaves vulnerable children at risk of abuse
Henrietta Cook, The Age

Vulnerable children in state care are put at risk, sexually abused and exploited due to inadequate staffing and pressures on the system, agencies have warned.

The warning, in a letter from Victorian residential care providers to Community Services Minister Mary Wooldridge and the Premier, follows a court censuring the secretary of the Department of Human Services, saying she had breached her duty of care for some of the state's most vulnerable children.


Sex Discrimination Commissioner shocked by findings of Human Rights Commission report
Rachel Browne, The Age

One woman was told to consider having an abortion when she announced her pregnancy to her boss while another was told she would have to choose between her baby and her job in shocking stories which have emerged from a study into discrimination against parents in the workforce.

The Australian Human Rights Commission report, to be released on Friday, found that one in two women and one in four men have experienced discrimination relating to their family obligations.


Supporting Working Parents: Pregnancy and Return to Work National Review - Report
Australian Human Rights Commission

In 2013, the Australian Government asked the Sex Discrimination Commissioner, on behalf of the Australian Human Rights Commission, to undertake a National Review into discrimination related to pregnancy, parental leave and return to work after parental leave.


Homelessness increases in Sydney’s affluent east as services decrease
Shae McDonald, Wentworth Courier

Homelessness is on the rise in the eastern suburbs, while services are at an all-time low.

Norman Andrews House co-ordinator and community worker, Chrissy Ynfante said the number of people accessing its services had significantly increased over the past 18 months.

“It’s predominantly male but we have had a much bigger increase in females than I’ve ever seen,’’ she said.


Parental training may offset health problems linked to social disadvantage, study shows
Nicky Phillips, Sydney Morning Herald

John Lennon may have spent his early years living in a poor, broken family but he knew love is all you need.

On Tuesday researchers will publish evidence of the famed songwriter’s sentiments in a study that found teaching poor parents how to nurture their children may partially offset the health risks that come with growing up poor.


Parenting skills tied to reduced inflammation in low-income children
Hilary Hurd Anyaso, Northwestern University

A new Northwestern University study suggests that an intervention focused on strengthening families can reduce inflammation, a chronic over activation of parts of the immune system that is important for long-term health.

Children of low socioeconomic status (SES) often experience such inflammation and poorer health at all stages of life compared to their more advantaged peers -- from lower birth weights at infancy to higher rates of age-related cardiovascular disease and cancer.


Student Terry Tierney on mental health group Headspace and coping with depression
Rachel Kleinman, The Age

For bachelor of arts student Terry Tierney, tragedy, drug abuse and mental health problems gripped him early in life. At 13, Tierney witnessed the horrific death of his best friend and girlfriend in a car accident. Unable to cope, he quickly became involved in cocaine - dealing, using, becoming addicted.

At 14, caught in a web of addiction and sickening memories he couldn't erase, he tried to take his own life.


‘Suicide is not a selfish act’ say survivors who have attempted to take their own life – new research
SANE Australia, media release

A study of Australians who have attempted suicide has found many made the attempt feeling they were ‘a burden’ and believed their family and friends would be ‘better off’ without them.

The research, by national mental health charity SANE Australia and the University of New England, found that a common feeling among people at the time of the attempt was of hopelessness and that their ‘mental pain’ would never end.


Suicide survival stories must be told, says Australian mental health chief
Melissa Davey, The Guardian

Survival stories from those who attempt suicide should drive mental health interventions but have been missing from policy discussions, Australia’s national mental health commissioner has said. Prof Ian Hickie said this omission was partly because of society’s often callous view towards suicide.

A study of 31 people who had attempted suicide was released by the mental health charity Sane Australia and the University of New England on Thursday.


National Suicide Prevention Conference Perth, 23-26 July 2014
Web site

After the success of the 2013 National Suicide Prevention Conference in Melbourne we are pleased to announce that the 2014 conference heads to Perth, Western Australia. Mark your calendar and plan to join your colleagues for the 2014 National Suicide Prevention Conference 23-26 July 2014. This is the premier, multidisciplinary, educational event in the suicide prevention sector.


Mental health: shifting the focus to recovery
UQ News

Using mental health research to bring about social change will be the focus of a University of Queensland seminar this week.

International expert Professor Shulamit Ramon, from the UK’s University of Hertforshire, is a guest speaker at the one-day research seminar on Thursday July 24, focused on supporting mental health researchers.


The Rediscovered Concept of Recovery in Mental Illness (2009)
Shulamit Ramon, et al, International Journal of Mental Health (pdf)

The rediscovered concept of recovery and the practice associated with it should appeal to mental health social workers because of the affinity between social work values and practice and the principles of recovery, such as the focus on the self-agency of the service user, the use made of the psychosocial approach in the practice of recovery, and the emphasis placed on the mobilization of community resources.


Mental illness: Some needles in the haystack
The Economist

The human brain is the most complicated object in the known universe. Considering that complexity, and the number of jobs it has to do—from regulating appetite to thinking great thoughts—the brain goes wrong surprisingly rarely. But go wrong it sometimes does, with ruinous consequences for the lives of both the sufferer and his family and friends.

Some brain ailments, such as Alzheimer’s disease, leave visible scars in the organ’s fabric. These are the province of neurology. Others, such as schizophrenia, which leave no visible scar, belong to psychiatry. Erasing that distinction, by finding the biological underpinnings of psychiatric diseases, might let new treatments be devised. And that is the goal of the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium (PGC), a multinational alliance of researchers who, by pooling their findings, are able to gather the large numbers of patients needed for statisticians to spot, among the billions of DNA straws in each person’s genomic haystack, the needles of causation.


No One Should Have to Choose Between Caregiving and Work
Jody Gastfriend, HBR

Years ago, I regularly saw a neurologist who was treating me for chronic headaches. On one particular appointment, my doctor deviated from his usual laconic manner and asked me a few questions about my daily life. I explained that like many 40-somethings, I had a busy schedule. I worked full-time, had three kids and a husband who traveled. And by the way, my father had dementia and was going to stay with me during my mom’s recuperation from hip surgery.

“Hmmm,” the doctor muttered disapprovingly. “That’s too much.”


The Emotional Boundaries You Need at Work
Greg McKeown, HBR

To develop meaningful and mature relationships at work or at home we need to develop two filters. The first filter protects you from other people. The second filter protects other people from you.


Politics: boundless win-wins?
Evelyne De Leeuw, The Power to Persuade

In a recent opinion piece in The Canberra Times Nicholas Stuart assessed the failings of the Abbott government (Stuart, 2014). It was an entertaining read, particularly – as so many political commentators do in the tabloid press – as the personal character and idiosyncrasies of Abbott’s ministry are called into question. This ‘argumentum ad hominem’ (attacking the person) has superior power over, and is considerably easier than constructing the ‘argumentum ad rem’ (playing the ball) in cunning ways.


Empathy or justice: What makes consumers donate more to charity?
Science Daily

Have you ever received a request for help and wondered how deserving the recipients are of your donation? This way of thinking may seem inconsistent with your moral values, especially if you consider yourself an otherwise compassionate and empathic person. A new study in the Journal of Consumer Research suggests that moral identity decreases donations when recipients are deemed to be responsible for their plight.

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