Daily News - Thursday 9 October 2014
Abuse trigger focus
Chris Pippos, The Advocate
Generational family violence is becoming a disturbing pattern, according to a counsellor who has been helping men with anger in the home issues for about a decade.
Hobart-based Wayne Wright, the facilitator of Centacare's Challenging Abusive Behaviour program, which was more recently expanded to the North-West Coast, said "the demand is huge" for the 16-week group program.
"The vast majority of the guys that come into the program have grown up in families where there's been family abuse, an abusive father, or there's been no male role model. . . ," Mr Wright said.
Tackling homelessness directly helps to reduce mental health issues
Allan Fels, The Australian ($)
Having a safe and stable home is vital. For the most vulnerable and unwell, cycles of homelessness, unstable housing and poor mental health can become their total life experience. All Australians are at risk of homelessness at transitional periods of their lives, for example when leaving a relationship, losing a job, or being discharged from hospital or prison.
By supporting people at these transitional points in their lives the cycle of homelessness and welfare dependence can be avoided.
The present situation in Australia is appalling. More than one in five people aged 15 to 64 who are admitted to a mental health service are assessed as having significant problems with their living conditions. Thirteen per cent of people with a mental health difficulty have reported being homeless after they were discharged from hospital. The housing assistance needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with a mental health difficulty are five times the rate of non-indigenous Australians.
Yet there is reason to hope. The results of a three-year housing-first pilot by Mission Australia offers new evidence that when housing is provided alongside “wraparound” services, it not only helps solve homelessness but also makes sound economic sense.
Australia's first National Centre of Excellence in Youth Mental Health is adding "tremendous value" to youth mental health services, its executive director says.
THE Orygen Youth Health Research Centre in Melbourne has received $18 million federal funding over four years for the centre which is set to become a world-leading research organisation, says Professor Patrick McGorry, a former Australian of the Year.
Panel of experts ready for mental health forum
Ruth Caskey, The Land
The need to communicate and seek help will be the focus of a rural mental health forum at Tamworth on Thursday, October 9.
Aboriginal mental health co-ordinator Joe Miller and senior mental health prevention officer Alan Avery have pulled together a panel of experts, from psychologists to police officers, for the question and answer-style event.
Mapping will be used to pinpoint areas of high male suicide and self-harm
Miki Perkins, The Canberra Times
A world-first mapping system will pinpoint areas of high male suicide and self-harm and collect ambulance data from incidents to track patients as they move through the health system.
Incidents such as suicide attempts, panic attacks, overdoses and other callouts from people experiencing a mental health crisis will be mapped to show where and when they happen.
Paramedics will also be given training to help them deal with the challenging behaviour they often encounter when people are highly distressed. They will carry resource packs with them to distribute to patients.
Mental health professionals and carers are concerned people with mental illnesses could slip through the gaps during Canberra's transition to the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).
‘No disadvantage’ period for welfare recipients in McClure review
Patricia Karvelas, The Australian ($)
A "no disadvantage” grace period for welfare recipients, during which they would not immediately lose money when new streamlined payments are introduced, is expected to be among the recommendations of the McClure review.
The Australian understands the McClure review panel is of the strong view that welfare recipients, such as disability support pensioners, should keep the same amount of money they receive from the government but be reclassified and given new job search obligations.
Greens call on Govt & ALP to back down from DSP cuts
The Greens, media release
The Australian Greens have called on the Government and ALP to back down on changes to the disability support pension contained in a compromised Social Services Amendment Bill, Budget Measures Number 6, which is set to pass the Senate during the next sitting week.
"Research from the National Welfare Rights Network shows that the Government's budget measures will make it tougher for people with disability to access and retain adequate levels of income support," Senator Rachel Siewert, Australian Greens disabilities spokesperson said today.
Disability services for the people, not the market
Piers Gooding, Overland
I expected a gloomy, nineteenth-century lunatic asylum. Instead, we found a nondescript civic building with grey carpet, beige paint and IKEA furnishings. I’d never been to a total institution before. The banality was disorienting.
We were taken through a large-scale ‘mental disability institution’ in a major European city. An occupational therapist ushered us down corridors and through locked wards. Quick glances into the rooms revealed open toilets, no privacy and constant CCTV surveillance.
Harper review would reduce us from citizens to mere consumers
Damien Cahill, The Conversation
Are we consumers or are we citizens? Clearly most of us are both. In a capitalist economy people get much of what they need through competitive markets. Yet we also live within a society and have reasonable expectations that governments will provide a range of services and regulations.
Yet upon reading the recently released draft report of the Competition Policy Review one could be forgiven for thinking that governments should treat their citizens solely as individual consumers, and that all services should be provided through markets.
Govt measures will cut unemployment: PM
Colin Brinsden, AAP
Prime Minister Tony Abbott has assured people without a job his government is putting the necessary measures in place to get the unemployment rate down.
The International Monetary Fund predicts Australia's unemployment rate will remain above six per cent both this year and next - the worst performer behind the Philippines in the Asia Pacific region.
Reserve Bank governor Glenn Stevens agrees it will probably take some time before unemployment declines consistently.
Employment Services Tender: Sensible changes but job seekers will still suffer
Jobs Australia, media release
The CEO of Jobs Australia, the national peak body for non-profit employment services providers, Mr David Thompson AM, today welcomed the release of the Request For Tender for Employment Services 2015-2020, and particularly welcomed changes that have been made since the July Exposure Draft.
The Tasmanian Government overlooked the need for affordable housing in proposed reforms to planning laws, according to some community groups.
Andy Witt from Shelter Tasmania said there were planning provisions for affordable housing in every other state and she has urged the Tasmania to follow suit.
Victoria - One-stop help for disadvantaged families to be expanded
Patricia Karvelas, The Australian ($)
A radical new system that combines human services delivery and provides a one-stop process for Victoria’s most disadvantaged and vulnerable families will be expanded.
As the election campaign gains pace, the Napthine government will announce today a plan to expand Services Connect to eight new areas across Victoria.
Minister for Community Services Mary Wooldridge said the government’s $9 million investment would support more than 5000 people over the next two years. It is designed to improve results for people experiencing disadvantage and
to reduce duplication and inefficiency across services.
Staff caring for some of Victoria's most vulnerable children have been working without valid police or working with children checks.
The ABC can reveal some workers in the state's residential care units were placed in the facilities after merely signing statutory declarations saying they had not been convicted of a crime.
Anti-pokie advocates slam new ACT government laws
Ben Westcott, The Canberra Times
Anti-gambling advocates have reacted angrily to the ACT government's proposed changes to poker machine caps, with Australian Churches Gambling Taskforce chair Tim Costello calling it "a breach of faith".
Minister for Racing and Gaming Joy Burch announced on Thursday the number of poker machines in their territory would fall from 5024 to 4785, almost 800 above the government's previous target of 4000.
Finding a Video Poker Bug Made These Guys Rich—Then Vegas Made Them Pay
Kevin Poulsen, Wired
John Kane was on a hell of a winning streak. On July 3, 2009, he walked alone into the high-limit room at the Silverton Casino in Las Vegas and sat down at a video poker machine called the Game King. Six minutes later the purple light on the top of the machine flashed, signaling a $4,300 jackpot. Kane waited while the slot attendant verified the win and presented the IRS paperwork—a procedure required for any win of $1,200 or greater—then, 11 minutes later, ding ding ding!, a $2,800 win. A $4,150 jackpot rolled in a few minutes after that.
Drop paid parental leave scheme to pay for budget holes: Coalition MPs
James Massola and Latika Bourke, The Canberra Times
Three Coalition MPs say international events, including a fall in commodity prices and the cost of fighting terrorism and Islamic State, mean Prime Minister Tony Abbott's signature $5.5 billion paid parental leave scheme should be dropped.
What is Kevin Andrews keeping from us?
Andrew Leigh, media release
Social Services Minister Kevin Andrews is keeping us all in the dark about how his plans for replacing the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission have been received by the sector.
Social justice in the spotlight: Do the benefits of sport outweigh the negatives?
John Warhurst, The Canberra Times
Does sporting competition bring out the best or the worst in society? Some commentary on the victory of the South Sydney in the National Rugby League competition has emphasised the social justice role of a club such as the Rabbitohs. The link between the indigenous community and Redfern has been offered as one illustration of such a role.
The general case has also just been made in the 2014-15 Social Justice Statement, "A Crown for Australia: Striving for the best in our sporting nation", issued by the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference for Social Justice Sunday. This series dates back to the 1940s and usually addresses topics with a more obvious justice theme, such as unemployment, poverty, or overseas aid. Who would have thought that sport would join such a list?
Married couples are stealing the show at synod
John L. Allen, Crux
Yesterday the synod heard from Ron and Mavis Pirola of Sydney, Australia, who’ve been married for 55 years and have four children. They delivered a dose of real life, telling the bishops about friends whose gay son said he wanted to bring his partner home for Christmas.
The Pirolas explained that their friends are faithful Catholics but also loving parents who wanted their grandchildren see them welcoming their son’s partner into the family. Their response, the Pirolas said, could be expressed in three simple words: “He’s our son.”
A pope of blurred boundaries
Andrew Hamilton, Eureka Street
Pope Francis is a leader out of his time. Generally the style and vision of governance in the Catholic Church correspond to those current in the broader society. He is out of sync. That has inevitably led many to ask whether his vision and style of governance will endure in the Catholic Church. Some indications may be found during the current Synod on the family.