Open Skies News

Keep up with the latest here!

  • 13 Aug 2018

    BY DR A PARKIN

    POSTED IN NEWS

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    New clinic times

    New clinic times

    Clinics are now held at Southside Health & Wellbeing, Hurstville at the following times: Tuesdays 9am-5pm Wednesdays 11am-7pm (and monthly at 9am-5pm) Fridays 9am-5pm For more information Contact Southside Health & Wellbeing on 9579 2480. 

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  • 2 Jun 2018

    BY DR A PARKIN

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    Infant Mental Health Awareness Week next week

    Infant Mental Health Awareness Week next week

    Infant Mental Health Awareness Week in Australia and the UK, 11 – 17 June 2018, seeks to promote the importance of infant mental health and the early years of a child’s life.   Adapted from a Australian Association for Infant Mental Health flyer:   Infant Mental Health Awareness Week was first launched in the UK in June 2016 by the charity Parent Infant Partnership (PIP) UK to raise a greater understanding for policy makers, professionals and parents about why giving every baby the best possible start in life matters to the life chances of children and fa

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  • 28 Oct 2017

    BY DR ANDREW PARKIN

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    The child psychiatry clinic is moving in the New Year

    The child psychiatry clinic is moving in the New Year

    The child psychiatry clinic that Dr Parkin holds is moving from Sydney Paediatrics to Southside Health & Wellbeing in January 2018.  Details can be found on the updated Contacts page.  Southside Health & Wellbeing is a multidisciplinary child, adolescent, and adult mental health centre.   Dr Parkin will continue to see children and adolescents up to the age of 18 years. He provides comprehensive assessments and ongoing management for presentations of anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, OCD (obsessions and compulsions), PTSD (posttraumatic stress), ADHD (inat

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  • 19 Oct 2017

    BY Dr ANDREW PARKIN

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    22 male athletes speak out about depression

    22 male athletes speak out about depression

    HeadsUpGuys has shared quotes from male athletes from around the globe who've fought depression, highlighting the importance of speaking up and reaching out. HeadsUpGuys is a resource for supporting men in their fight against depression by providing tips, tools, information about professional services, and stories of success. The are staffed by a team of clinicians, researchers, and mental health advocates, bringing together their expertise and personal experiences.   HeadsUpGuys was developed through the generous support of the Movember Foundation and is based at The U

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  • 14 Oct 2017

    BY DR ANDREW PARKIN

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    Clinics now held on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays

    Clinics now held on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays

    Clinics days are now change and clinics will now be held at Sydney Paediatrics 9.00am-4.30pm on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. For more about your appointment, click here. For contact details, clinic here. 

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  • 10 Oct 2017

    BY DR ANDREW PARKIN

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    World Mental Health Day 10 October

    World Mental Health Day 10 October

    World Mental Health Day – October 10 — is a day for global mental health education, awareness and advocacy. An initiative of the World Federation for Mental Health to raise public awareness of mental health issues worldwide.   Mental Health Australia is leading the World Mental Health Day campaign in Australia. The theme this year is 'Do You See What I See?', which challenges perceptions about mental illness in Australia and encourages everyone to look at mental health in a more positive light, in an effort to reduce stigma and make way for more people to seek th

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  • 13 Sep 2017

    BY The RANZCP website

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    The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists supports marriage equality

    The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists supports marriage equality

    From the RANZCP website: The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists supports marriage equality and recognises the positive link between improved mental health outcomes and legislative change for LBGTI people and their children. In 2016 the College released Position Statement 83 Recognising and addressing the mental health needs of the LBGTI population. The key points of this position statement are:  The RANZCP supports marriage equality based on the evidence that legislative inequality has a significant and deleterious impact on mental health. The

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  • 12 Jun 2017

    BY DR A PARKIN

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    Amazing Things Happen: an introduction to autism

    Amazing Things Happen: an introduction to autism

    Published in March 2017, this short animation is an introduction to autism that aims to raise awareness among young non-autistic audiences, to stimulate understanding and acceptance in future generations.   It is intended to be viewed, discussed and shared widely by anyone but especially teachers and parents.   View and enjoy it here.

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  • 16 May 2017

    BY DR A PARKIN

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    Carers and the NDIS workshops

    Carers and the NDIS workshops

    Do you care for someone who is eligible for the NDIS?   Carers and the NDIS is a free workshop designed to help carers get the best outcome from the NDIS for the person they care for and for themselves.   The two-part workshop focuses on building knowledge and skills to help carers to make informed choices when accessing the NDIS.   Find out more on the Carers and the NDIS workshops page 

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  • 24 Apr 2017

    BY DR A PARKIN

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    Nearly 1 in 4 teens have a serious mental illness

    Nearly 1 in 4 teens have a serious mental illness

    Mission Australia and the Black Dog Institute have collaborated on research in to the mental health of young people aged 15-19 years. Each year, thousands participate in a survey that enquires about psychological distress (using standardised questionnaires) and how young people would seek help. They have recently published the findings from data collected over the five-year period 2012-2016.  The main findings from this are:   In 2016, just under one in four young people met criteria for having a probable serious mental illness There has been a significant increase in

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  • 11 Apr 2017

    BY DR A PARKIN

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    Presentation for parents with Chinese background on mental and physical health

    Presentation for parents with Chinese background on mental and physical health

    Sydney Technical High School and St George's Girls High School will hold a Chinese lecture on 27 April for parents of Chinese background on the mental and pshycial health of teenagers presented by Jason Zou. The lecture will focus on the pressures on Chinese teenage students, the role of parents in supporting them in thier growth and spiritual confusion, and seeking professional help.  The presentation will be in Mandarin. It will be held at 18.00 on 27 April at Sydney Technical High School.  To read more about this, please click here. 

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  • 2 Apr 2017

    BY DR A PARKIN

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    World Autism Awareness Day

    World Autism Awareness Day

    Today is the ninth World Autism Awareness Day and the start of Autism Awareness Month in Australia.  Look out for what your local organisations are doing and support their funding activities this month.  People chose different colours and many Go Blue for autism! Girls with autism often presently differntly to boys leading to delays in recognising it or being mistaken for other things. Yellow Ladybugs is an organistion that provides more inforamtion about this.  Learn more about Autism at Autism Awareness.   

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  • 6 Feb 2017

    BY DR A PARKIN

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    Autism Spectrum expert to run workshops in Sydney

    Autism Spectrum expert to run workshops in Sydney

    Professor Tony Attwood is in international authority on Asperger’s Syndrome and autism. His text “Asperger’s Syndrome: A Guide for Parents and Professionals” has been translated into thirty languages. His new book “The Complete Guide to Asperger’s Syndrome” is recognised as the leading textbook on the subject internationally.  Professor Attwood is presenting two workshops in Sydney next month. These workshops are designed to help parents, professionals who see adults and/or older adolescents with Asperger's syndrome (first workshop) or tee

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  • 30 Jan 2017

    BY DR A PARKIN

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    School children are encouraged to speak out against bullying

    School children are encouraged to speak out against bullying

    One-quarter of school children face bullying in Australian schools and many do not speak out about it, hoping that the problem will magically go away.   ReachOut, an online organisation that provides practical tools and support to help young people get through everything from everyday issues to tough times, surveyed 14 to 25-year-olds and found that one in four had been a victim of bullying in the past 12 months.   Most bullying occurred at school (affecting 52 per cent of those bullied), with significant levels online (25 per cent) and in the workplace (25 per cent). &nb

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  • 10 Dec 2016

    BY DR A PARKIN

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    Young Australians believe mental health is one of the top three issues facing the country

    Young Australians believe mental health is one of the top three issues facing the country

    The ABC reports that Mission Australia surveyed 22,000 teenagers aged 15 to 19. Results show that concerns about the impact of mental health nationally have doubled in this age group in the past five years. Young women twice as likely to consider mental health a national concern.  To read more about this, click here. 

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  • 10 Dec 2016

    BY DR A PARKIN

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    Australia needs better suicide prevention strategies as the youth suicide rate rises

    Australia needs better suicide prevention strategies as the youth suicide rate rises

    The ABC reports on reserahc that has found that suicide rates for young Australians is highest in 10 years. Those conducting the research and others are calling for new prevention strategies.  Suicide rates for 15 to 24-year-olds are at their highest rate in 10 years. One-third of all deaths of young men are due to suicide and twice as many 15 to 19-year-old women died by suicide than in 2005. Suicide rates have also increased for children under the age of 14 years.    41,000 young people aged 12-17 have made a suicide attempt. One-quarter of women aged 16-17 years old h

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  • 21 Nov 2016

    BY DR A PARKIN

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    Smiling Mind in Schools: medication for students

    Smiling Mind in Schools: medication for students

    Smiling Mind is a not-for-profit organisation that works to make mindfulness meditation accessible to all. The organisation has been bringing meditation to schools and researched the value of this. Smiling Mind aims to have meditation on the Australian National Curriculum by 2020.  Smiling Mind aims to build happier, healthier and more compassionate people. Their mindfulness meditation programs are designed to assist people in dealing with the pressure, stress and challenges of daily life. They provide programs that are age-appropriate: 7-9 years, 10-12 years, and 13-15 years. 

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  • 28 Aug 2016

    BY DR A PARKIN

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    Tackling Tricky Topics with your Teen

    Tackling Tricky Topics with your Teen

    Learn how to openly communicate, approach and discuss difficult topics like alcohol, sex and drugs with your teenager.    A free seminar for parents to be held 10.00-12.00 on Saturday 24 September 2016 at:   Central Library Eastgardens, Westfield Eastgardens Shopping Centre Banks Ave, Eastgardens NSW 2036   For more information, click here. 

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  • 30 Jun 2016

    BY DR A PARKIN

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    Psychiatrists release a position paper on recognising and addressing the mental health needs of the LGBTI population

    Psychiatrists release a position paper on recognising and addressing the mental health needs of the LGBTI population

    The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists (RANZCP) released a position paper earlier this year on recognising and addressing the mental health needs of Australia and New Zealand’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) population.    The RANZCP is concerned that a disproportionate number of Australia and New Zealand’s LGBTI population experience mental illness and psychological distress. Evidence shows that the discrimination and marginalisation experienced by the LGBTI population increases the risk of developing mental health i

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  • 16 Jun 2016

    BY DR ANDREW PARKIN

    POSTED IN News

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    BeyondNow: Beyond Blue produces a safety app

    BeyondNow: Beyond Blue produces a safety app

    Beyond Blue has produced a safety app, BeyondNow.  What Beyond Blue says about it: Convenient and confidential, the BeyondNow app puts your safety plan in your pocket so you can access and edit it at any time. You can also email a copy to trusted friends, family or your health professional so they can support you when you're experiencing suicidal thoughts or heading towards a suicidal crisis.    A safety plan involves creating a structured plan – ideally with support from your health professional or someone you trust – that you work through when you&

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  • 7 Jun 2016

    BY DR ANDREW PARKIN

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    New blood test may assist in helping to determine who might respond to antidepressant medication

    New blood test may assist in helping to determine who might respond to antidepressant medication

    Not everyone has a good response to antidepressants. Typically only around 70% might benefit from the first medication they try, with similar response rates for subsequent ones. Because it can take a several weeks of increasing the dose and then waiting for it to work, it can sometimes take  a long time to find one that works.  Researchers in the UK have found a blood test that can help to determine whether there are some groups of antidepressants that a particular individal does not respond to. Whilst this is new research and not yet incorporated in to everyday clinic practice,

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  • 21 May 2016

    BY DR ANDREW PARKIN

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    Omega-3 can help recovery from depression

    Omega-3 can help recovery from depression

    Researchers have brought together results from 40 international studies on the benefits of taking omega-3 supplements for treating depression. Whilst not a treatment for depression, taking an adequate dose seems to improve the chance of recovery. They looked at other nutrional supplements too, which also help in depression, and omega-3 came out as the most effective.  It is important to still consult with your doctor or psychiatrist and not stop the treatments that you are taking for depression. You can read more about this study on the Black Dog Institute website here. 

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  • 8 Apr 2016

    BY DR A PARKIN

    POSTED IN News

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    "I think it's really important that kids can see that autism isn't what makes them them. It's not a label which sticks itself onto you. It's just another part."

    Chloe Hayden got the message across very clearly during Autism Awareness Week this week. She is an 18-year-old advocate for children and young people with Autism Spectrum Disorder. It can be difficult to recognise in girls, which has been the focus of some campaign groups this year.  A group formed to support girls with Autism Spectrum Disorder says that girls living with autism are often misdiagnosed, misunderstood or missed completely. Early intervention funding is available, but when the diagnosis is picked up late, this opportunity is lost. By encouraging parents, frontline profes

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  • 1 Mar 2016

    BY DR A PARKIN

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    Autism Spectrum workshop: Early Days Understanding Behaviour: Kogarah 3 Mar 2016

    Autism Spectrum workshop: Early Days Understanding Behaviour: Kogarah 3 Mar 2016

    The Early Days Workshops are part of the Helping Children With Autism package and are here to provide free support and information to families and carers who have children with (or who may have) Autism Spectrum between the ages of 0-7 Years. Workshops are FREE of charge to participants and run by professionals who have extensive experience and knowledge in working with young children with Autism Spectrum. Unfortunately we are unable to accept registrations from Professionals for this workshop. Please note: Workshops may be cancelled due to insufficient registrations, if you are keen to att

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  • 16 Jan 2016

    BY DR A PARKIN

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    The Australian Government has responded to the Mental Health Programmes and Services Review

    The Australian Government has responded to the Mental Health Programmes and Services Review

    Australian Government Response to Contributing Lives, Thriving Communities - Review of Mental Health Programmes and Services   The Australian Government response to the Review aims to transform Commonwealth mental health funding and leadership over the next three years to achieve a more efficient, integrated and sustainable mental health system and to improve mental health service delivery for Australians.   The response presents a system-level change in the Australian Government's role in mental health funding and reform. It outlines nine, interconnected, concret

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  • 24 Nov 2015

    BY DR ANDREW PARKIN

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    Perspectives on medication and mental illness

    Perspectives on medication and mental illness

    The NSW Mental Health Commissioner invites you to the launch of the Mental Health Commission of NSW's latest publication, Perspectives on medication and mental illness.    This paper presents powerful insights from those who take medication as a treatment for mental illness, and from those who care for them. It is the result of the Commission's consultation with over 200 consumers, carers, families and people who work in the mental health care system, undertaken with the assistance of the Commission's Pharmacotherapy Advisory Group. Read more here

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  • 31 Oct 2015

    BY DR ANDREW PARKIN

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    Transition to Employment: Navigating the workplace for people with autism 27th November 2015

    Transition to Employment: Navigating the workplace for people with autism 27th November 2015

    This workshop is aimed towards individuals with autism transitioning into employment or seeking the opportunity to build skills to successfully find and maintain work.   There are 3 interactive sessions in this 1 day interactive workshop which look at:   What work will work for you Skills for Succeeding at work (Part 1 and 2) Navigating your next steps. Free Workshop   For more information click here

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  • 31 Oct 2015

    BY DR ANDRE PARKIN

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    Could lifetime anxiety and depression starting in childhood accelerate ageing?

    Could lifetime  anxiety and depression starting in childhood accelerate ageing?

    Our body cells continually divide and replicate themselves. When they do so the DNA contained in them passes on instructions as to what the new cells need to do. DNA is stored in pairs of strands called chromosomes. There are 'buffers' at the end of each chromosome to protect the DNA. These buffers are called telomeres. Each time one of our body cells replicates, the end-most part of chromosome will not be replicated. Once this buffering telomere is gone and DNA is exposed, the cell stops replicating, ages and dies. That’s the current theory around aging.   Telo

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  • 19 Oct 2015

    BY DR ANDREW PARKIN

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    Australasian Society for Bipolar and Depressive Disorders (ASBDD) Conference 6-8 November, 2015

    Australasian Society for Bipolar and Depressive Disorders (ASBDD) Conference 6-8 November, 2015

    This year's ASBDD Conference is to be held in Sydney, Australia, from 6 to 8 November 2015. ASBDD is the Australian and New Zealand regional chapter of the International Society for Bipolar Disorders (ISBD). Established in 2004, ASBDD has held five conferences since that time: Melbourne 2006, Sydney 2007, Brisbane 2009, Sydney 2011 and Melbourne 2013. The 2015 conference will be convened by Professor Ian Hickie of the Brain and Mind Centre, and will be held in the recently opened and exciting Charles Perkins Building at the University of Sydney. The speaking faculty will comprise l

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  • 12 Oct 2015

    BY DR ANDREW PARKIN

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    And father makes three: the Australian Association for Infant Mental Health Inc’s (AAIMHI) conference 29-31 Oct UNSW, Sydney

    And father makes three: the Australian Association for Infant Mental Health Inc’s (AAIMHI) conference 29-31 Oct UNSW, Sydney

    The Australian Association for Infant Mental Health Inc’s (AAIMHI) conference,  "And father makes three" includes presentations from expert International and National speakers who specialise in family-inclusive practice. There will be over 50 presentations from researchers, policy-makers and practitioners under the following conference themes:   Family inclusive practice across single, same sex, blended, and traditional families   How does practice reflect changing work roles and family roles for mothers and fathers? How do we incorporate fathering into

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  • 12 Oct 2015

    BY DR ANDREW PARKIN

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    Heads Up: Young volunteers at the Black Dog Institute share their personal battles with mental health

    Heads Up: Young volunteers at the Black Dog Institute share their personal battles with mental health

    12 young people who found solace in the Black Dog Institute when they were battling their own demons share their stories in the hopes of helping others.   Published as part of ABC News and 612 ABC Brisbane's Heads Up - a special youth mental health forum.   For more details click here. 

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  • 10 Oct 2015

    BY DR ANDREW PARKIN

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    World Mental Health Day today 10 October

    World Mental Health Day today 10 October

    Today is World Mental Health Day and there are many events around NSW promoting and celebrating mental health.  You just took a solid step towards acknowledging your role in looking after your own mental health and wellbeing. The next step is to make a mental health promise to yourself, and then share it, in the lead up to World Mental Health Day, Saturday 10 October. Little steps can help, so why not make a Mental Health Promise to yourself, right now.  Every organisation participating in National Mental Health Week should take this opportunity to promote their e

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  • 15 Sep 2015

    BY DR ANDREW PARKIN

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    Eastern Sydney Annual Suicide Prevention Awareness Walk this Sunday

    Eastern Sydney Annual Suicide Prevention Awareness Walk this Sunday

    The Eastern Sydney Suicide Prevention Network (ESSPN) are holding their annual Suicide Prevention Awareness Walk this Sunday September 20! The walk will take place along Rose Bay Promenade. ESSPN have just joined Centre of Research Excellence in Suicide Prevention (CRESP) as Industry Partners and work hard to build awareness of Suicide Prevention in the Eastern Suburbs.  You can check out their activities on their facebook page https://www.facebook.com/EasternSydneySPN.

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  • 14 Sep 2015

    BY DR ANDREW PARKIN

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    Sydney LHD Living Well Photography Competition 2015: closing date 30 September

    Sydney LHD Living Well Photography Competition 2015: closing date 30 September

    To celebrate Mental Health Week, Sydney Local Health District is running a Photography Competition. The competition is open to community members and staff of Sydney Local Health District. Theme: Mental Health, Living Well What does it mean to live well? The organisers are looking for images that represent your sense of well-being, resilience, purpose, or happiness. What are the things that have the greatest meaning or significance in your life? What images represent the feelings and emotions of a life well lived? Are there activities that celebrate the moments in our lives? &

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  • 7 Sep 2015

    BY DR ANDREW PARKIN

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    World Suicide Prevention Day this Thursday, 10 Sept

    World Suicide Prevention Day this Thursday, 10 Sept

    World Suicide Prevention Day 2015 is Thursday 10 September. It is also RUOK? Day in Australia. In 2015, the international theme of World Suicide Prevention Day is Preventing Suicide: Reaching Out and Saving Lives.’ Suicide Prevention Australia says, "It is speaking up to reduce the stigma around talking about suicide prevention safely. It is about standing up to make a positive impact on our mental health and wellbeing. It is about being self informed and aware of support and services available to all those touched by suicide and those b

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  • 23 Aug 2015

    BY DR ANDREW PARKIN

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    Early bird registration still available for the ISSTD Conference in Sydney, Broken structures, broken selves: Complex trauma in the 21st Century

    Early bird registration still available for the ISSTD Conference in Sydney, Broken structures, broken selves: Complex trauma in the 21st Century

    The International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation is holding its 2015 annual conference in Sydney on 27-29 November at the Westin Hotel. "The cream of national and international speakers in the field of trauma and dissociation will be discussing the latest accepted methods of assessment, innovative and proven approaches to treatment, forensic aspects and research in this area of vital importance."    Speakers include Aunty Donna Ingram (elder of the Redfern Aboriginal Community), John Feneley (New South Wales Mental Health Commissioner),  the Hon

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  • 13 Aug 2015

    BY DR ANDREW PARKIN

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    Groundbreaking Australian study finds thousands of children and teenagers suffer mental illness

    Groundbreaking Australian study finds thousands of children and teenagers suffer mental illness

    An estimated 560,000 Australian children and teenagers are experiencing serious mental health issues. The research team talked with 6,300 families and is the biggest survey of mental health problems in children and adolescents in Australia. Since the most recent comparable study in 1998, more teenagers are experiencing depression, and 1 in 13 children aged 12-17 years have seriously contemplated suicide. Hearteningly though, more teenagers are aware of services that can help and are accessing these services. Read more about it in a Sydney Morning Herald artice here. 

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  • 7 Aug 2015

    BY DR ANDREW PARKIN

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    Developmental and Behavioural Paediatrics in a changing world

    Developmental and Behavioural Paediatrics in a changing world

    27-29 August 2015 at the Menzies Hotel, Sydney The Neurodevelopmental & Behavioural Paediatric Society of Australasia (NBPSA) in collaboration with The Sydney Children’s Hospital Network (SCHN) are proud to present this event, celebrating the 40th Anniversary of Sydney’s first Community Paediatric Unit and the 3rd Annual Conference of the NBPSA. The conference will explore the changing landscape of Developmental Behavioural Paediatrics, now and into the future. The program will have a very practical focus. It will include updates on research, case base

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  • 24 Jul 2015

    BY Dr Andrew Parkin

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    Understanding and supporting adolescent development: More than one direction

    Understanding and supporting adolescent development: More than one direction

    5 August 2015, Children's Hospital Westmead Free for those under 24 years and unwaged.   Youth Health Forums are stimulating, half-day forums that cover a wide range of adolescent health and wellbeing issues, appealing to health, education, community, welfare professionals and students. The Forum provides opportunity for attendees to meet, update knowledge and skills, exchange information and strengthen the youth health network, in order to provide the best possible support for young people in NSW.  The Forum will focus on research around adolescent development to inform

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  • 10 Jul 2015

    BY Dr Andrew Parkin

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    New online information for consumers

    New online information for consumers

    Research by the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists has revealed that there is widespread confusion in the community about what psychiatrists are and what they do, so a new online resource aims to answer basic questions the public might have, in a concise and direct way.   For more information click here.  

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  • 7 Jul 2015

    BY Dr Andrew Parkin

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    Mixing grapefruit with medicines

    Mixing grapefruit with medicines

    It has been known for some time that certain chemicals in grapefruit (known as furanocoumarins) can interfere with the way your body metabolises or processes many medicines in the intestine (gut) or liver before they reach your bloodstream. When this happens, more of a medicine may get into your body, making it work too strongly or causing unwanted side effects.   For more information click here.    

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