Monday, 13 October 2014

At least 6 ways to be unique in this October's Mental Health Awareness month

October is Mental Health Awareness month. You may have joined many interested viewers, listeners, bloggers and tweeters in the media this week. This year National Mental Health Week, runs from 5 to 11 October with 10 October being World Mental Health Day, WMHD. This is a global program which aims to promote education, awareness and advocacy.

The ABC is going “Mental as” by supporting Mental Health Awareness Week. Mental health experts are hoping that this year’s Mental Health Week will work to further diminish the stigma associated with mental illness. Mental Health Australia outlines three objectives for WMHD this year, “to encourage help seeking behaviour, reduce the stigma associated with mental illness and foster connectivity throughout communities”. Focus for this year’s campaign is on Mental Health begins with me and good mental health is important to everyone. You can participate by linking to post a mental health promise.

Visit Mental Health Month NSW, to find out about the theme for Mental Health Awareness Month this year, ‘beYOUnique!’.  Access a downloadable Mental Health Month Starter Kit 2014 and view events that promote good mental health in the community. Their other intiatives designed to promote mental health and benefit all include, Mental Health Month Art page or Stress Less Tip Art page.

Link to organisations such as Headspace Mental Awareness Week Campaign and ZIP IT, donate your voice campaign or SANE to find out more ways to show your support and access information. Other Australian resources aimed at young people and children are Kidshelpline, Blackdog Institute school teaching resource and teacher webinars (there’s one next week), Reachout,  Youthbeyondblue and Children of Parents with a Mental Illness.

In support of Mental Health Week at AWCH, we have posted a book review for The young mind: an essential guide to mental health for young adults, parents and teachers. Co-edited by Professor Sue Bailey and Dr Mike Schooter and in collaboration with the Royal College of Psychiatrists, UK. This really helpful book from people in the know, fits well with the theme of this year’s Mental Health Awareness which encourages increased community understanding. So whether you are viewing, reading, affirming, posting, educating or hosting, I hope you find at least 6 ways to think about good mental health.

Jillian Rattray
AWCH librarian

October 2014

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Painful paediatric practice

I was out to dinner with my girlfriends last night and at dinner the topic of pain relief in hospital came up. One of my girlfriend’s children had broken his arm and to fix the fracture pins had been placed in his humerus. To have pins removed, my friend took her son to the local paediatric hospital. Before Bob had his pins removed he was offered no pain relief and this is where the story really starts…..

To remove his pins Bob was placed in a chair. His mother was asked to sit next to him.  A clown doctor was there to distract the child whilst the pin was being removed. To remove the pin the doctor used pliers, which slipped as the pin did not come out easily. This process caused Bob a great amount of distress…. However, as this was happening, the clown doctor was attempting to put a red nose on the mother - impeding her ability to comfort Bob. In addition, there was still one more pin to be removed. Yet by this time the child was hysterical and distraught.

A comedy of errors, or a sheer lack of planning and consideration for the needs of Bob and his mother?

The reason I wish to share this story is that this type of situation exemplifies why AWCH is still relevant in 2014. In our 40 year history we have made lots of progress in advocating for children and their families as they navigate the health care system. However stories like Bob’s and Betty’s still exist.

Betty is an intelligent and articulate woman. She told me that she placed her trust in the medical staff and that if they said that this procedure did not require any pain relief then Bob would be fine. Once Bob became distressed she felt she had no control over the situation and that all she could do was comfort Bob to the best of her ability at that time.

This happened two weeks ago, and prior to the pin removal Bob was always a happy go lucky child with a ready smile and a cheeky sense of humour. Since the procedure he has been having nightmares, being argumentative at school and is scared to play footy or use him arm too much.

For me this story shows that AWCH is still very relevant today and the work we do is still needed.

Ally Hutton
AWCH President

Thanks to Bob and Betty for sharing their story (real names not used)

Thursday, 24 July 2014

Jessica's X-ray

By Pat Zonta, artwork by Clive Dobson
Firefly books, 2006. 27 p. ISBN 10: 1552975770

Jessica’s X-Ray is a great book for children and families to read and familiarise themselves with what an x-ray does and when it is used. Readers follow Jessica as she experiences an
x-ray for her broken arm and accompany her on a hospital tour to find out about radiology and other x-ray techniques including CAT-scan, MRI and ultrasound.

 X-rays are invisible waves of energy that travel at the speed of light

Primary school children will find the best feature of the book is the six real x-rays on printed film. Many children are fascinated by broken bones and the human body and they will like taking a look and finding out facts about different types of x-rays. By the end of the book they will have read about identifying bones, muscles and soft tissue from x-rays.

No-fuss information and warm colour illustrations are a feature. The author combines her experience of working in children’s and teaching hospitals as a Medical Radiation Technologist and author of several children’s books. This short book would be a useful addition to a primary school or public library.

Jessica’s X-Ray is available for loan from the AWCH library:

Review by:
Jillian Rattray
AWCH Librarian