NACCHO Aboriginal Health and Alcohol Research : New ADAC APP a will be ‘game changer’ to gauge realistic drinking habits says @ScottADAC

“Obviously there’s people who want the research done to help their community.

Once we get this app going, it’ll become very clear very quickly where the money should be spent.

That doesn’t mean you’ve just got to chuck money at them, but having Aboriginal-controlled issues and understanding which way they want to go.”

Jimmy Perry, a Ngarrindjerri/Arrernte man and an Aboriginal health worker involved in the project, said communities had a positive response.

 Read over over 200 Aboriginal Health Alcohol and Other Drugs articles published by NACCHO over the past 7 years 

Download the APP Research

18-lee-developing-tablet-computer-app-bmc-med1_final-data

Originally published HERE 

Researchers say a new app has the potential to more accurately reflect the nation’s drinking habits.

The ADAC and app researchers hoped the app would be available to download by the end of the year.

Key points : 

  • App developers say it will get a more accurate drinking history than a face-to-face interview with a trained health professional
  • The Aboriginal Drug and Alcohol Council says the app could replace the National Drug Strategy Household Survey
  • Researchers say alcohol consumption among Aboriginal women is under-represented by up to 700 per cent in national surveys

The Grog App was designed for use by Indigenous Australians but could be used by anyone.

Dr Kylie Lee, a senior research fellow at the Centre of Research Excellence in Indigenous Health and Alcohol who was also involved in the app’s development, said the new technology would create a more accurate database.

“Aboriginal women, their drinking is under-represented in the national surveys by up to 700 per cent and 200 per cent in men.

“Undeniably we need to do better … this app offers a great opportunity to do that.”

Researchers believe the app would elicit greater detail than the National Drug Strategy Household Survey which has been used for more than 30 years.

Dr Lee said the prospect of collating improved data collection on the difficult topic of drug and alcohol consumption was “exciting”.

“I think it really could be a game changer because it’s giving an opportunity for a safe place where they can just tell their story in terms of what they use or what they drink,” she said.

How it works

Take a Virtual Tour HERE

Participants answer a range of broad and specific questions on the app about alcohol and based on that information, they are allocated into a category on a sliding scale from ‘non-drinker’ to ‘high risk’.

Dr Lee said immediate feedback was very helpful.

She said the app could alleviate issues in the way alcohol data was typically collected, for example participants were more likely to be asked about standard drinks but not non-standard containers.

“Like a soft drink bottle, a juice bottle, a sports bottle et cetera so the app has facilities to show how much you put in the bottle,” Dr Lee said.

“It’s very exciting the level of detail you’re going to get.”

Professor Kate Conigrave, the app’s chief investigator and an addiction specialist at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, agreed the new technology could provide greater clarity.

“I’m aware of the traps,” she said.

“One patient I saw had been recorded by a doctor as drinking three standard drinks a day but when I took a drinking history I said, ‘what do you drink them out of?’, and he showed me a sports bottle,” Professor Conigrave said.

“He was drinking three full sports bottles of wine a day, so that’s about 30 standard drinks a day.”

PHOTO: Professor Conigrave says the images used in the app can trigger the participant’s memory, making their drinking history more accurate. (Supplied: Kate Conigrave)

Professor Conigrave said the national health survey often contained “tiny” numbers from Indigenous communities.

“The sample sizes are so small, it’s hard to get a meaningful picture,” she said.

She said the app would provide a level of comfortability and anonymity which may lead to more accurate data, than an interview with a trained health professional.

“People can be a bit embarrassed about what they’re drinking and it can be a bit hard to admit to someone you know, ‘when I drink I have 12 cans of beer,'” she said.

Taking it to the communities

The app is in its second phase of testing.

In the first phase, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders in remote, regional and urban parts of South Australia and Queensland were asked to describe their drinking habits.

Research on the app has now progressed to the second round, during which the focus was on the technology’s validity as an on-the-ground survey tool.

Scott Wilson, who was leading the development of the app at the Aboriginal Drug and Alcohol Council (ADAC), said the second phase was a “major prevalence study” which would include participants from the local hospital and prison.

The location for the trial has not been made public.

“In the big major surveys people in those areas are always excluded,” Mr Wilson said.

“When you consider that I might be in hospital for an alcohol-related illness or I might be in jail because of an alcohol or drug-related crime, my voice or results are never included.”

The ADAC and app researchers hoped the app would be available to download by the end of the year.

In the meantime, they planned to have discussions with the government over the future use of the app and pursue grant opportunities.

Dr Lee said she was excited for the potential of the new technology.

“Eventually I think it would be a great tool to roll out nationally … using it in the same way as the National Drug Strategy Household Survey,” she said

NACCHO and ACCHO Members Deadly Good News Stories : #NSW @ahmrc #VIC @VACCHO #OchreDay #QLD @QAIHC_QLD @GidgeeHealing Goolburri #SA Nunkuwarrin Yunti #WA @TheAHCWA #NT @AMSANTaus #ACT @WinnungaACCHO #TAS

1.1 National : Watch NACCHO CEO appearance on the ABC TV the Drum for NAIDOC week

1.2 National : Federal Department of Health launches a new website

1.3 National : NACCHO support of Adam Goodes 2014-2019 ” Aboriginal Health and Racism “ #TheFinalQuarter

2.1 Armajun Aboriginal Health Service Armidale hold NAIDOC Week celebration

2.2 NSW : AHMRC The July Edition of Message Stick is out now!

2.3 NSW : Barrier between NSW Indigenous patients and hospital staff: report

3.1 VIC : VACCHO to co-host 2019 OCHRE DAY Men’s Health Conference in Melbourne 

4.1 Qld : QAIHC welcomes Minister Ken Wyatt to their new offices in Brisbane

4.2 QLD : Renee Blackman CEO of Gidgee Healing ACCHO Mt Isa on fact finding road trip 

4.3 QLD : Goolburri ACCHO : Jaydon Adams Foundation Indigenous Jets Ipswich Jets 2019

5.SA : Tackling Tobacco Team – Nunkuwarrin Yunti  the mob going smoke-free in Adelaide’s Prisons.

6.WA : AHCWA : Derby Aboriginal Health Service (DAHS) in Derby completed their final block of training in our Cert II Family Wellbeing Training Course

7.1 NT : Team AMSANT travelled to Sydney this week for national NACCHO workshop

7.2 : NT Katherine West Health Board traveling with our friend Healthy Harold to the schools talking about smoking 

8. ACT : Julie Tongs CEO Winnunga ACCHO Canberra congratulates Aunty Thelma Weston the 2019 National NAIDOC Female Elder of the Year

9. Tas: Tasmanian NAIDOC Aboriginal award winners 

How to submit in 2019 a NACCHO Affiliate  or Members Good News Story ?

Email to Colin Cowell NACCHO Media 

Mobile 0401 331 251 

Wednesday by 4.30 pm for publication Thursday /Friday

1.1 National : Watch NACCHO CEO appearance on the ABC TV the Drum for NAIDOC week

Watch ABC TV IView Friday 12 July Edition 

1.2 National : Federal Department of Health launches a new website

Welcome to the new health.gov.au website

We think you’ll find it a better website. We’ve:

  • changed the way it looks and works so it’s easier to use
  • reorganised our content so it’s easier to find
  • rewritten our content so it’s easier to understand
  • improved navigation and search
  • begun consolidating our other Health websites into this one, so more of our information is in one place

Department Press Release

The new website has been developed through comprehensive research and testing with our stakeholders.

Health.gov.au users told us they couldn’t find what they were looking for and when they did, it was often out of date and hard to read. Content was also often replicated and spread across more than 90 Health-owned websites.

The new website has better functionality and content has been written in plain English to improve the experience of all users.

An improved search function will search the new and old website during the transition period to ensure all relevant content is picked up. Better analytics will help us understand our users and continue to respond to their needs.

This project has been, and will continue to be, a major exercise. We expect it will take up to 12 months to completely rewrite our content.

In the meantime, Health topics that have not yet been fully revised will have a short introduction on the new site and links to old content for detail. Links to the old website will still work until we decommission our old website.

We won’t decommission the old site until we are satisfied the new website is complete.

Preview the new site

1.3 National : NACCHO support of Adam Goodes 2014-2019 ” Aboriginal Health and Racism “ #TheFinalQuarter

In 2015 NACCHO supported our good friend of NACCHO Adam Goodes with a ” Racism is a driver of Aboriginal ill health ” campaign that attracted a record 50,000  Likes and shares on our Facebook page reaching 846,848 followers

READ OUR NACCHO RACISM Post HERE

Watch to Final Quarter HERE

This followed our 2013 sponsorship of the first All-Indigenous team to represent Australia that Adam co captained with Buddy Franklin

Missed the Channel 10 Broadcast ? Watch HERE

2.1 Armajun Aboriginal Health Service Armidale hold NAIDOC Week celebration

More than 40 people attended the Armajun Aboriginal Health Service in Armidale on Thursday morning, but it had nothing to do with anything medical and everything to do with their NAIDOC Week morning tea.

Armajun program manager Deb Green said the day was fantastic.

“As the day gets on, we’ll get more community members who will just wander in,” she said.

“There will be an area left open so they can just come in and have a meal, and have a chat if other people are around.

“The whole week has been absolutely brilliant. We should be very, very proud of our community, and every service provider that has hosted an event over the last two weeks, it’s just been amazin

See Photo Album 

2.2 NSW : AHMRC The July Edition of Message Stick is out now!


Read about AH&MRC staff celebrating NAIDOC Week 2019, wrap-ups for Yarn Up, Your Health Your Future and the Dubbo Symposium and an update on the 2019 flu season.
Read about it here >> http://bit.ly/2XQldhR

2.3 NSW : Barrier between NSW Indigenous patients and hospital staff: report

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders in NSW hospitals have reported being treated with less respect and dignity than non-Indigenous patients.

The Bureau of Health Information surveyed about 36,000 patients in hospitals and emergency rooms between 2017 and 2018.

The bureau’s chief executive, Diane Watson, said nearly all of the 1,000 First Nation patients were happy with their overall care, but some clear trends emerged.

Director for Aboriginal Health Geri Wilson-Matenga said new training programs would be designed to help medical staff with cultural communication and understanding.

3.1 VIC : VACCHO to co-host 2019 OCHRE DAY Men’s Health Conference in Melbourne 

 

The NACCHO Ochre Day Health Summit provides a national forum for all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander male delegates, organisations and communities to learn from Aboriginal male health leaders, discuss their health concerns, exchange share ideas and examine ways of improving their own men’s health and that of their communities.

REGISTER and other information on this years Ochre Day Men’s Health Conference

Please visit the NACCHO website.

3.2 VIC : Aboriginal Victorians are twice as likely to be hospitalised for mental health issues, compared to the wider population

A history of marginalisation and cultural dispossession has contributed to lower emotional and social wellbeing among Aboriginal Victorians, the state’s mental health royal commission has heard.

Key points:

  • Aboriginal Victorians are twice as likely to be hospitalised for mental health issues, compared to the wider population
  • Almost half of the state’s Aboriginal population has a relative who was removed under the policies which lead to the Stolen Generations
  • One elder told the commission the western concept of mental health was neither familiar, nor helpful for Aboriginal people

Wemba Wemba elder Auntie Nellie Flagg ( Pictured above ) described the mental anguish that accompanied the relentless racism she experienced growing up in the north-west Victorian town of Swan Hill in the 1960s. See Full Report 

Helen Kennedy, from the Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation, said: “They’re losing their life to suicide at twice the rate.”

“We’re not seeing improvements.”

Ms Kennedy told the commission part of the problem was a lack of recognition of the profound trauma arising from a long history of marginalisation and the dispossession of land, culture and children.

Almost half of all Aboriginal Victorians have a relative who was removed under policies which lead to the Stolen Generations.

“These impacts have been brutal,” Ms Kennedy said.

“They have left a legacy of enduring trauma and loss that continues to affect Aboriginal communities, families and many individuals is in many compounding ways.”

Culturally appropriate services critical

Ms Kennedy told the inquiry that developing culturally appropriate services staffed by Aboriginal people was critical.

She said Victoria had only eight Aboriginal mental health workers statewide.

“We are lagging behind other states,” she said.

“We need a massive reinvestment to support a growing skilled Aboriginal workforce.”

Ms Kennedy said one approach proving successful elsewhere was the creation of trauma-informed community “healing centres” aimed at helping individuals build stronger connections to culture, community, family, spirituality, their mind and emotions.

“What we’re doing now is not working. We have to have a different approach,” she said.

“Looking after people’s social and emotional wellbeing and supporting protective factors … we know that works.”

See Full Report

4.1 Qld : QAIHC welcomes Minister Ken Wyatt to their new offices in Brisbane

QAIHC CEO Mr Neil Willmett  was pleased to welcome Ken Wyatt MP to their new office this week. They discussed a range of topics including the great work QAIHC Members were doing, the work QAIHC leads in the Sector, and the importance of strong partnerships with government and stakeholders.

4.2 QLD : Renee Blackman CEO of Gidgee Healing ACCHO Mt Isa on fact finding road trip 

Setting off yesterday to Burketown to meet with Council, Aboriginal Land Council and Consumers re health services. Robust discussions- great feedback – NWHHS, Gidgee Healing and WQPHN working with the community to improve health outcomes

Renee Blackman second from LEFT

4.3 QLD : Goolburri ACCHO : Jaydon Adams Foundation Indigenous Jets Ipswich Jets 2019

 Big thank you to photographer for these amazing pictures. see more HERE

5.SA : Tackling Tobacco Team – Nunkuwarrin Yunti  the mob going smoke-free in Adelaide’s Prisons.

 

There have been some inspiring stories and changes going on. #BeHealthyBeSmokefree #Rewriteyourstory

6.WA : AHCWA : Derby Aboriginal Health Service (DAHS) in Derby completed their final block of training in our Cert II Family Wellbeing Training Course

Last month, students from the Derby Aboriginal Health Service (DAHS) in Derby completed their final block of training in our Cert II Family Wellbeing Training Course, all graduating successfully with ease.  The course runs over a 4 day period and is part of the Family Wellbeing program at AHCWA that aims to support the social and emotional wellbeing of Aboriginal people and their communities within WA. The aim of the program is to increase awareness of the contributing factors that impact on family wellbeing and identify strategies to help build better foundations to overcome these factors.

Congratulations to the students from DAHS!

For more information on the training please contact our Family & Wellbeing Program Coordinator, Ken Nicholls on (08) 9227 1631 or email ken.nicholls at ahcwa.org.

7.1 NT : Team AMSANT traveled to Sydney this week for national NACCHO workshop 

7.2 : NT Katherine West Health Board traveling with our friend Healthy Harold to the schools talking about smoking 

We have been traveling with our friend Healthy Harold to the schools in the Katherine West region. Healthy Harold has been yarning to the kids about their dreams when finishing school and how smoking could affect their dreams.

More Pics Here

What’s your Smoke Free Story?

8. ACT : Julie Tongs CEO Winnunga ACCHO Canberra congratulates Aunty Thelma Weston the 2019 National NAIDOC Female Elder of the Year

Thelma Weston, a descendant of the Meriam people of the Torres Strait, is like no other. Her life is a story of survival, achievement, hope, love and celebration.

Despite only having a limited education, Aunty Thelma trained as a nurse and became a fully qualified health worker.
At age 83, Aunty Thelma still works full time at Winnunga Aboriginal Health and Community Services in Canberra, using her skills to manage the needle exchange program.

She has a long history of outstanding involvement and achievements in the community and has sat on a number of local and national committees and boards.
Aunty Thelma is on the board of the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Worker Association (NATSIHWA) and regularly travels across Australia to attend board meetings.

As a breast cancer survivor, Aunty Thelma has worked with Breast Cancer Network Australia to encourage other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women to connect, seek support and information about the disease.

Aunty Thelma is much loved, admired and well respected, not only in her workplace and amongst her clients, but in the wider ACT community and across Australia.  She is a wonderful example of a wise and caring Torres Strait Islander woman who has achieved much for her family and community.

9. Tas: Tasmanian NAIDOC Aboriginal award winners 

Congratulations Rob Braslin Aboriginal of the year. Congratulations Zack Riley-youth of the year; Adam Thompson-artist of the year; Taylah Pickett-scholar of the year (award accepted on her behalf by Raylene); Sherrin Egger-sportsperson of the year. Congratulations to all nominees and all award winners 🖤💛❤️

NACCHO #ClosingTheGap Aboriginal Men’s Health #OCHREDay 1 of 7 : @DrKootsy @theMJA:  Our ACCHO/ AMS’s health services must make the appropriate changes to improve access and, ultimately, men’s health outcomes

 

 Only 7 weeks to the NACCHO OCHRE Day in Melbourne and registrations are open

Between now and the 29-30 August National men’s Conference NACCHO will be publishing each Monday articles about Men’s Health and contributions from an amazing line up of speakers: Our first contribution from Trevor Pearce Acting CEO VACCHO 

” For so many of the men at Ochre Day, healing had come about through being better connected to their culture and understanding, and knowing who they are as Aboriginal men. Culture is what brought them back from the brink.

We’ve long known culture is a protective factor for our people, but hearing so many men in one place discuss how culture literally saved their lives really brought that fact home.

It made me even more conscious of how important it is that we focus on the wellbeing side of Aboriginal health. If we’re really serious about Closing the Gap, we need to fund male wellbeing workers in our Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations.

In Victoria, the life expectancy of an Aboriginal male is 10 years less than a non-Aboriginal male. Closing the Gap requires a holistic, strength- based response. As one of the fellas said, “you don’t need a university degree to Close the Gap, you just need to listen to our mob”.

I look forward to this year’s Ochre Day being hosted on Victorian country, and for VACCHO being even more involved.”

Trevor Pearce is Acting CEO of the Victorian Aboriginal Community Health Organisation (VACCHO) Originally published here 

More OCHRE DAY Info , Register and Accommodation discounts

 

 

 

NACCHO Aboriginal Male Health News : Minister @KenWyattMP will provide $1 million over 2 years to @BushTVMedia @ErnieDingo1 to deliver its Camping On Country program, to address health and wellbeing challenges in a culturally safe and meaningful way.

Ernie Dingo believes light moments are important even when talking about serious topics. In one candid exchange with a man who insisted doctors were unnecessary, Dingo shared the story of his decision to allow a doctor to examine his prostate.

“I told the men that I thought ‘Ah well, who is going to know?’ and they had a good laugh,” he said.

Dingo remains vigilant about his health. A dad of six, including three-year-old twin boys, he said being a father and grandfather made him want to encourage men to take care of themselves.

“We have to be around for our kids, and their kids,” 

Actor Ernie Dingo has created a confronting, humorous and bracingly honest reality series about Indigenous men that has captured the attention of federal Indigenous Health Minister Ken Wyatt.

Dingo, a Yamitji man from the Murchison region of Western Australia, became a household name in Australia as the presenter of lifestyle program The Great Outdoors between 1993 and 2009. But his retreat from public life coincided with a struggle against depression that he said made him want to help other Indigenous men.

From The Australian See in full Part 2 below 

Ernie Dingo’s campfire chats a dose of reality TV

 ” I’ve been in film & tv for 40 years that’s long enough! Its time for me to go bush & work with my Countrymen.

No point in having influence if you can’t use it to make the world a better place for our mob!

Follow 

A new health initiative that places culture and traditional knowledge systems at the centre of its program aims to improve the health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men and ensure they have a strong voice in health and wellbeing services in their own communities.

The Federal Government will provide $1 million over two years to Bush TV Enterprises to deliver its Camping On Country program, to address health and wellbeing challenges in a culturally safe and meaningful way.

Speaking at the launch on the Beedawong Meeting Place in WA’s Kings Park: (From left) Murchison Elder Alan Egan; Ernie Dingo; Ken Wyatt; Kununurra Elder Ted Carlton.

Respect for culture has a fundamental role in improving the health of our men, who currently have a life expectancy of 70 years, more than 10 years shorter than their non-Indigenous counterparts.

Camping On Country is based on the premise that working with local men as the experts in their own health and community is critical in Closing the Gap in health equality.

We need every Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander man to take responsibility for their health and to be proud of themselves and their heritage — proud of the oldest continuous culture on Earth, and the traditions that kept us healthy for the past 65,000 years.

Each camp will focus on specific topics including:

  • Alcohol and drug dependency
  • Smoking, diet and exercise
  •  Mental health and suicide

A traditional healer and an Aboriginal male health worker are assigned to each camp to conduct health checks and provide one-on-one support to men, which includes supporting men through drug or alcohol withdrawals.

Traditional yarning circles are used to discuss health and wellbeing issues as well as concerns about employment, money, housing and personal relationships.

Well-known actor, television presenter and Yamatji man Ernie Dingo developed the Camping On Country program with his BushTV partner Tom Hearn, visiting 11 communities and conducting small camps with groups of men at four sites across remote Australia in 2018.

The plan is to conduct 10 camps a year, with the initial focus on communities in need in Central Australia, the Kimberley, Arnhem Land, the Gulf of Carpentaria and the APY Lands.

The program puts culture and language at the centre of daily activities and also uses the expertise and knowledge of local men’s groups, traditional owners and local Aboriginal organisations.

A video message stick will be produced during each camp and made available to all levels of government associated with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health.

The message stick information will also be used by health providers to develop holistic, culturally appropriate programs with men and their communities.

The $1 million funding will also support Bush TV Enterprises to partner with a university and Primary Health Alliances to conduct research to track improvements in remote men’s health and enhance health and wellbeing services.

Bush TV Enterprises is an Aboriginal-owned community agency specialising in grassroots advocacy and producing and distributing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander stories.

Our Government has committed approximately $10 billion to improve Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health over the next decade, working together to build strong families and communities.

Part 2 From The Australian  

Ernie Dingo’s campfire chats a dose of reality TV

Dingo, a Yamitji man from the Murchison region of Western Australia, became a household name in Australia as the presenter of lifestyle program The Great Outdoors between 1993 and 2009. But his retreat from public life coincided with a struggle against depression that he said made him want to help other indigenous men.

The 62-year-old has partnered with documentary-maker Tom Hearn to make four short films from fireside yarns with indigenous men in some of Australia’s most remote towns and communities.Mr Wyatt believes the program, called Camping on Country, has the potential to change lives. He has commissioned 20 more camps around Australia over the next two years at a cost of $1 million.

“We talk about everything,” Dingo told The Australian. “You want to see the way the men sing and talk once they feel safe.”

Camping On Country could ultimately drive health policy, as Dingo listens to men talk about alcohol and drug dependency, smoking, diet, exercise, mental health and suicide. Mr Wyatt will announce his support for the camps today and hopes that they can help close the health gap between indigenous and non-indigenous men. Aboriginal men die an average 10 years earlier than other Australian men, and generally their rates of cancer, heart disease and mental illness are higher.

An Aboriginal male health worker will be at each camp providing health checks and support, including to anyone experiencing drug or alcohol withdrawals. Dingo and Hearn will make a short film of each camp through production company Bush TV. The federal funding of $1 million covers an independent assessment of the overall program, ­including whether it makes a difference to the health of men who take part.

NACCHO Aboriginal #MentalHealthWeek News : 1.Download Report Monitoring #mentalhealth and #suicideprevention reform 2.Government has announced a new Productivity Commission Inquiry into the role of mental health in the Australian economy

“As background to this development, the National Mental Health Commission has published its sixth national report – Monitoring Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Reform: National Report 2018 – which provides an analysis of the current status of Australia’s core mental health and suicide prevention reforms, and their impact on consumers and carers.”

Part 1 Download a copy of report 

Monitoring Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Reform National Report 2018

Engaging Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities in regional planning

” One of the priorities for PHNs is engaging Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and community controlled organisations in co-designing all aspects of regional planning for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mental health and suicide prevention services.

There has been some early success in building partnerships between PHNs and Aboriginal community controlled organisations (see Case study). In contrast, some PHNs have primarily commissioned mainstream providers rather than community controlled health services to provide services to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

Leading Aboriginal organisations consider this approach to be flawed, and believe it will result in poorer outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

It is important for PHNs to recognise and support the cultural determinants of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mental health and social and emotional wellbeing, in addition to clinical approaches.26 Recent research by the Lowitja Institute highlights the need for a specific definition of mental health for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, as mental illness is more likely to occur when social, cultural, historical and political determinants are out of alignment.27

Extract from Page 20 of Report 

Read over 150 NACCHO Aboriginal Mental Health artices published over 6 years

Part 2

 ” The Government has announced a new Productivity Commission Inquiry into the role of mental health in the Australian economy. 

This move is significant recognition of the considerable impact of mental health challenges on individuals and the wider community.”

The Productivity Commission’s inquiry will take 18 months and will scrutinise mental health funding in Australia, which is estimated at $9 billion annually across federal, state and territory governments. Last week the Australian Bureau of Statistics revealed 3,128 people committed suicide in 2017, which is up from 2,866 people in 2016.

The commission will be expected to recommend key priorities for the Government’s long-term mental health strategy and will accept public submissions. AHCRA looks forward to meaningful and authentic consumer engagement by the Inquiry.

The inquiry was welcomed by many, including Labor’s mental health spokeswoman, Julie Collins. Beyond Blue CEO Georgie Harman also praised the inquiry. “There have been numerous investigations and reviews into mental health in Australia, but this is the first time the Productivity Commission will take the lead. It is a significant step forward and one that has the potential to drive real change,” Ms Harman said in a media release.

AHCRA highlights the 2018 Report as a valuable source of information that outlines the size of the problem and the prevalence and impact of mental illness and suicide in Australia.

ABC News item: https://ab.co/2E725r5
Guardian coverage: https://bit.ly/2IKNYqh
Media release: https://bit.ly/2E9Bxpo

The Mental Health Commission website is here: https://bit.ly/2pJ216U
The 2018 report link: https://bit.ly/2C30YpM

NACCHO Aboriginal Health #ACCHO Deadly Good News stories : Governor-General visits @WinnungaACCHO Plus #NSW #StrokeWeek2018 Events @Galambila @ReadyMob @awabakalltd #Tamworth #VIC #BDAC #BADAC #QLD @Apunipima #NT @AMSANTaus @CAACongress #WA @TheAHCWA

1.ACT: Governor-General visits Winnunga Nimmityjah ACCHO

2.QLD : Apunipima Cape York Health Council (Apunipima ) Doctor Mark Wenitong and daughter Naomi promotes Stroke Week 2018

3.1 NSW : Galambila ACCHO and Ready Mob staff take up challenge to promote stroke awareness and prevention in the Coffs Harbour region

3.2 NSW :  Tamworth Aboriginal stroke survivors tell their stories

3.3 NSW : Awabakal ACCHO wants the community to be aware of stroke 

4.WA: AHCWA staff members travelled to remote Warburton to deliver Family Wellbeing training at the CDP. #womenshealthweek 

5.1: NT : AMSANT celebrates the graduation of 10 future health leaders!

5.2 NT : Alukura Congress Alice Springs celebrate #WomensHealthWeek and prepare for next weeks #WomensVoices forums with June Oscar 

6. VIC : Karen Heap, CEO of Ballarat and District Aboriginal Cooperative (BADAC) was the winner of the Walda Blow Award.

6.2 VIC : The Robin Clark Award: Making a Difference category was awarded to the Aboriginal Children in Aboriginal Care (Section 18 Pilot) team at Bendigo and District Aboriginal Co-operative (BDAC

MORE INFO AND REGISTER FOR NACCHO AGM

How to submit a NACCHO Affiliate  or Members Good News Story ?

Email to Colin Cowell NACCHO Media 

Mobile 0401 331 251

Wednesday by 4.30 pm for publication each Thursday /Friday

1.ACT: Governor-General visits Winnunga Nimmityjah ACCHO

Winnunga Nimmityjah Aboriginal Health and Community Service was honoured and pleased by a visit on September 3 from his Excellency the Governor-General Sir Peter Cosgrove and Lady Cosgrove.

Winnunga Nimmityjah CEO Julie Tongs briefed their Excellency’s on the range of services which are provided to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community of Canberra and the region.

Sir Peter was particularly interested in the range and breadth of services which are provided to the community and learn that of the almost 7000 clients which Winnunga sees each year that almost 20% are non- Indigenous.

Sir Peter was also very interested to explore with Julie Tongs the rationale for the decision that has been taken in the ACT by the ACT Governmnet and Winnunga Nimmityjah to establish an autonomous Aboriginal managed and staffed health clinic within the Alexander Maconochie Centre to minister to the health needs of Aboriginal prisoners.

Following the briefing Sir Peter and Lady Cosgrove joined all staff for afternoon tea.

It was Chris Saddler an Aboriginal Health Practitioner at Winnunga and Lieutenant Nam’s birthday so the visitors sang happy birthday to both . Sir Peter  gave Chris and Julie a medal with the inscription Governor General of the Commonwealth of Australia with the Crown and a wattle tree.

2.1 QLD : Apunipima Cape York Health Council (Apunipima ) Doctor Mark Wenitong and daughter Naomi promotes Stroke Week 2018

The current guidelines recommend that a stroke risk screening be provided for Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people over 35 years of age. However there is an argument to introduce that screening at a younger age.

Education is required to assist all Australians to understand what a stroke is, how to reduce the risk of stroke and the importance be fast acting at the first sign of stroke.”

Dr Mark Wenitong, Public Health Medical Advisor at Apunipima Cape York Health Council (Apunipima), says that strokes can be prevented through a healthy lifestyle and Health screening, and just as importantly, a healthy pregnancy and early childhood can reduce risk for the child in later life.

Naomi Wenitong  pictured above with her father Dr Mark Wenitong Public Health Officer at  Apunipima Cape York Health Council  in Cairns:

Share the stroke rap with your family and friends on social media and celebrate Stroke Week in your community.

Listen to the new rap song HERE  or Hear

The song, written by Cairns speech pathologist Rukmani Rusch and performed by leading Indigenous artist Naomi Wenitong, was created to boost low levels of stroke awareness in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

Stroke Foundation Chief Executive Officer Sharon McGowan said the rap packed a punch, delivering an important message, in a fun and accessible way.

“The Stroke Rap has a powerful message we all need to hear,’’ Ms McGowan said.

“Too many Australians continue to lose their lives to stroke each year when most strokes can be prevented.

“Music is a powerful tool for change and we hope that people will listen to the song, remember and act on its stroke awareness and prevention message – it could save their life.”

Ms McGowan said the song’s message was particularly important for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities who were over represented in stroke statistics.

Aboriginal and or Torres Strait Islanders are twice as likely to be hospitalised for stroke and are 1.4 times more likely to die from stroke than non-indigenous Australians. These alarming figures were revealed in a recent study conducted by the Australian National University.

There is one stroke every nine minutes in Australia and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are overrepresented in stroke statistics. Strokes are the third leading cause of death in Australia.

Apunipima delivers primary health care services, health screening, health promotion and education to Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people across 11 Cape York communities. These health screens will help to make sure you aren’t at risk  .

We encourage you to speak to an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander health Practitioner or visit one of Apunipima’s Health Centres to talk to them about getting a health screen.

What is a stroke?

A stroke occurs when the blood flow to the brain is interrupted, depriving an area of the brain of oxygen. This is usually caused by a clot (ischaemic stroke) or a bleed in the brain (haemorrhagic stroke).

Brief stroke-like episodes that resolve by themselves are called transient ischaemic attacks (TIAs). They are often a sign of an impending stroke, and need to be treated seriously.

Stroke is a time-critical medical emergency. The longer a stroke remains untreated, the greater the chance of stroke-related brain damage. After an ischaemic stroke, patients can lose up to 1.9 million neurons a minute until blood flow to the brain is restored.

What to do in case of stroke?

Stroke is a time-critical medical emergency. The longer a stroke remains untreated, the greater the chance of stroke-related brain damage. After an ischaemic stroke, patients can lose up to 1.9 million neurons a minute until blood flow to the brain is restored.

The Australian National Stroke Foundation promotes the FAST tool as a quick way for anyone to identify a possible stroke. FAST consists of the following simple steps:

Face – has their mouth has dropped on one side?

Arm – can they lift both arms?

Speech – Is their speech slurred? Do they understand you?

Time – is critical. Call an ambulance.

3.1 NSW : Galambila ACCHO and Ready Mob staff take up challenge to promote stroke awareness and prevention in the Coffs Harbour region

The @Galambila ACCHO and @ReadyMob staff  hosting #strokeweek2018 on Gumbaynggirr country ( Coffs Harbour ) : Special thanks to Carroll Towney, Leon Williams and Katrina Widders from the Health Promotion team #ourMob#ourHealth #ourGoal #fightstoke @strokefdn

Recently released Australian National University research, found around one-third to a half of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in their 40s, 50s and 60s were at high risk of future heart attack or stroke. It also found risk increased substantially with age and starts earlier than previously thought, with high levels of risk were occurring in people younger than 35.

The good news is more than 80 percent of strokes can be prevented,’’ said Colin Cowell NACCHO Social Media editor and himself a stroke survivor.

“This National Stroke Week, we are urging all Australians to take steps to reduce their stroke risk.

“As a first step, I encourage all the mob to visit to visit one of our 302 ACCHO clinics , their local GP or community health centre for a health check, or take advantage of a free digital health check at your local pharmacy to learn more about your stroke risk factors.

“Then make small changes and stay motivated to reduce your stroke risk. Every step counts towards a healthy life,” he said.

Top tips for National Stroke Week:

  • Stay active – Too much body fat can contribute to high blood pressure and high cholesterol.  Get moving and aim exercise at least 2.5 to 5 hours a week.
    •Eat well – Fuel your body with a balanced diet. Drop the salt and check the sodium content on packaged foods. Steer clear of sugary drinks and drink plenty of water.
    • Drink alcohol in moderation – Drinking large amounts of alcohol increases your risk of stroke through increased blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, obesity and irregular heart beat (atrial fibrillation). Stick to no more than two standard alcoholic drinks a day for men and one standard drink per day for women.
    • Quit smoking – Smokers have twice the risk of having a stroke than non-smokers. There are immediate health benefits from quitting.
    • Make time to see your doctor for a health check.  Ask for a blood pressure check because high blood pressure is the key risk factor for stroke. Type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol and atrial fibrillation are also stroke risks which can be managed with the help of a GP.National Stroke Week is the Stroke Foundation’s annual stroke awareness campaign.

3.2 NSW :  Tamworth Aboriginal stroke survivors tell their stories

WHEN Aboriginal elder Aunty Pam Smith first had a stroke she had no idea what was happening to her body.

On her way back to town from a traditional smoking ceremony, she became confused, her jaw slack and dribbling.

FROM HERE

Picture above : CARE: Coral and Bill Toomey at National Stroke Awareness Week.

“I started feeling headachey, when they opened up the car and the cool air hit me I didn’t know where I was – I was in LaLa Land,” she said.

A guest speaker at the Stroke Foundation National Stroke Awareness Week event in Tamworth, Ms Smith has created a cultural awareness book about strokes for other Aboriginal people.

Watch Aunty Pams Story

She hopes it will teach others what to expect and how to look out for signs of a stroke, Aboriginal people are 1.4 times more likely to die from stroke than non-Indigenous people.

But, most still don’t go to hospital for help.

“Every time we went to a hospital we were treated for one thing, alcoholism – a bad heart or kidneys because of alcohol,” Ms Smith said.

“We were past that years ago, we’re up to what we call white fella’s things now.”

Elders encouraged people to make small changes in their daily lives, to quit smoking, eat a balanced diet and drink less alcohol.

For Bill Toomey it was a chance to speak with people who understood what it was like to have a stroke. A trip to Sydney in 2010 ended in the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital when he was found unconscious.

Now in a wheelchair, Mr Toomey was once a football referee and an Aboriginal Health Education Officer.

“I wouldn’t wish a stroke on anyone,” Mr Toomey said.

“I didn’t have the signs, the face didn’t drop or speech.”

His wife Coral Toomey cares for him, she was in Narrabri when he was rushed to hospital.

“Sometimes you want to hide, sit down and cry because there’s nothing you can do to help them,” she said.

“You’re doing what you can but you feel inside that it’s not enough to help them.”

Stroke survivor Pam Smith had a message for her community.

“Please go and have a second opinion, it doesn’t matter where or who it is – go to the hospital,” she said.

“If you’re not satisfied with your doctor go to another one.”

3.3 NSW : Awabakal ACCHO wants the community to be aware of stroke 

Did you know that Aboriginal people are up to three times more likely to suffer a stroke than non-Indigenous Australians, and twice as likely to die from a stroke?

This week is National Stroke Week, so make sure you know the signs of a stroke and call 000 if you suspect someone is experiencing a stroke.

Common risk factors for stroke include:
– High blood pressure
– Increasing age
– High cholesterol
– Diabetes
– Smoking

4.WA: AHCWA staff members travelled to remote Warburton to deliver Family Wellbeing training at the CDP. #womenshealthweek 

Veronica and Meagan had the opportunity to work closely with a group of the women in town. The ladies got to work on their paintings whilst participating in the Family Wellbeing training which focused on dealing with conflict and recognising personal strengths.


The week ended with a delicious lunch out bush and lots of smiles!

5.1: NT : AMSANT celebrates the graduation of 10 future health leaders!

Chair of the Aboriginal Medical Services Alliance [AMSANT], Donna Ah Chee, said it wasn’t just the arrival of spring in the deserts of Central Australia to be welcomed today as the Aboriginal community-controlled health sector celebrated the graduation of 10 future leaders in receiving Diplomas in Leadership and Management.

“This is of course a wonderful achievement for each of the graduates who have put in a lot of hard work while still holding on to their full-time jobs,” said Ms Ah Chee.

“But just as important is what it means for the entire Aboriginal community controlled health sector—these women and men are the future, they are our future leaders in what are difficult, complex roles, they are role models for younger people, they are role models for their families and communities.

“Already organisations are moving graduates into managerial and team leader roles, and we are looking towards future intakes of students across a range of training opportunities in the sector— in management, administration, cultural leadership, community engagement and research.”

John Paterson, CEO of AMSANT reflected at the graduation ceremony in Alice Springs that while the work in the sector was very challenging, it was extraordinarily fulfilling.

“It really is the best sector to work in, no two ways about it.

“These new graduates are at the heart of what Aboriginal community control in comprehensive primary health care is about, it’s about people with lived experience in their own communities and families and having the strength and tenacity to take on the challenges we face in Aboriginal primary health care here in the Northern Territory.”

The graduates were drawn from the Katherine West Health Board, Anyinginyi Health, Miwatj Health and the Central Australian Aboriginal Congress (Congress).

Anyinginyi graduate, Nova Pomare, said that it hadn’t always been easy to get through the course.

“It was pretty hard working full time, studying and having to leave home away from family to attend the face-to-face course work in Darwin,” she said.

“But we were supported by our work places who have shown faith in our abilities and committed to our futures.”

Graduates of Diploma in Leadership and Management:

Anita Maynard Congress Velda Winunguj Miwatj Health

Carlissa Broome Congress Stan Stokes Anyinginyi Health

Glenn Clarke Congress Mahalia Hippi Anyinginyi Health

Samarra Schwarz Congress Nova Pomare Anyinginyi Health

John Liddle Congress Lorraine Johns Katherine West Health Board

5.2 NT : Alukura Congress Alice Springs celebrate #WomensHealthWeek and prepare for next weeks #WomensVoices forums with June Oscar 

 

 

6. VIC : Karen Heap, CEO of Ballarat and District Aboriginal Cooperative (BADAC) was the winner of the Walda Blow Award.

6.2 VIC : The Robin Clark Award: Making a Difference category was awarded to the Aboriginal Children in Aboriginal Care (Section 18 Pilot) team at Bendigo and District Aboriginal Co-operative (BDAC).

National Child Protection week began for VACCHO and the Victorian Aboriginal Children and Young People’s Alliance (Alliance) at the 2018 Victorian Protecting Children Awards on Monday 3 September 2018.

The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) annual awards recognise dedicated teams and individuals working within government and community services who make protecting children their business.

We are pleased to announce that two of the 13 award winners were Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations and Members of VACCHO and the Alliance.

Karen Heap, CEO of Ballarat and District Aboriginal Cooperative (BADAC) was the winner of the Walda Blow Award.

This award was established by DHHS in partnership with the Victorian Commissioner for Aboriginal Children and Young People, in memory of Aunty Walda Blow – a proud Yorta

Yorta and Wemba Wemba Elder who lived her life in the pursuit of equality.

Aunty Walda was an early founder of the Dandenong and District Aboriginal Cooperative and worked for over 40 years improving the lives of the Aboriginal community. This award recognises contributions of an Aboriginal person in Victoria to the safety and wellbeing of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander children and young people.

Karen ensures the safety and wellbeing of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander children and young people are always front and centre.

Karen has personally committed her support to the Ballarat Community through establishing and continuously advocating for innovative prevention, intervention and reunification programs.

As the inaugural Chairperson of the Alliance, Karen contributions to establishing the identity and achieving multiple outcomes in the Alliance Strategic Plan is celebrated by her peers and recognised by the community service sector and DHHS.

Karen’s leadership in community but particularly for BADAC, has seen new ways of delivering cultural models of care to Aboriginal children, carers and their families, ensuring a holistic service is provided to best meet the needs of each individual and in turn benefit the community.

The Robin Clark Award: Making a Difference category was awarded to the Aboriginal Children in Aboriginal Care (Section 18 Pilot) team at Bendigo and District Aboriginal Co-operative (BDAC).

This award is for a team within the child and family services sector who has made an exceptional contribution to directly improve the lives of children, young people and families,

BDAC have lead the way, showing the Alliance member organisations what it takes to run the Aboriginal Children in Aboriginal Care (Section 18) program. BDAC have adapted a child protection model to incorporate holistic assessment and an Aboriginal cultural lens to support the children and families.

They have evidence that empowered decision making improves outcomes, particularly family reunification. The BDAC CEO, Raylene Harradine and Section 18 Pilot team have shown dedication, empathy and long term commitment in getting the program right for their organisation and clients, so that they can share their learning and program model with other ACCOs.

Their leadership in community has created waves of innovation in delivering cultural models of care to vulnerable Aboriginal children, carers and their families, achieving shared outcomes for all.

VACCHO and the Alliance walk away feeling inspired by all to do the best we can for our Koori children and young people, congratul

 

NACCHO Press Release Aboriginal Male Health Outcomes : #OchreDay2018 The largest ever gathering for a NACCHO male health conference : View 15 #NACCHOTV interviews with speakers

 ” We, the Aboriginal males  gathered at the Ochre Day Men’ Health Summit, nipaluna (Hobart) Tasmania in August 2018; to continue to develop strategies to ensure our  roles as grandfathers, fathers, uncles, nephews, brothers, grandsons, and sons  caring for our families.

We commit to taking responsibility for pursuing  a healthy, happier,  life for  our families and ourselves, that reflects the opportunities experienced by the wider community.

We acknowledge the NAIDOC theme “Because of her we can”We celebrate the relationships we have with our wives, mothers, grandmothers,  granddaughters,  aunties, nieces  sisters and daughters.

We also acknowledge that our male roles embedded in Aboriginal culture as well as our contemporary lives  must value the importance of the love,  companionship, and support of our Aboriginal women, and other partners.

We will pursue the roles and practices of Aboriginal men grounded in their  cultural as  protectors, providers and mentors. “

Our nipaluna (Hobart) Ochre Day Statement:  That our timeless culture still endures 

All NACCHO reports from #Ochre Day

For so many of the men at Ochre Day, healing had come about through being better connected to their culture and understanding, and knowing who they are as Aboriginal men. Culture is what brought them back from the brink.

We’ve long known culture is a protective factor for our people, but hearing so many men in one place discuss how culture literally saved their lives really brought that fact home.

It made me even more conscious of how important it is that we focus on the wellbeing side of Aboriginal health. If we’re really serious about Closing the Gap, we need to fund male wellbeing workers in our Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations.

In Victoria, the life expectancy of an Aboriginal male is 10 years less than a non-Aboriginal male. Closing the Gap requires a holistic, strength- based response. As one of the fellas said, “you don’t need a university degree to Close the Gap, you just need to listen to our mob”.

I look forward to next year’s Ochre Day being hosted on Victorian country, and for VACCHO being even more involved.

Trevor Pearce is Acting CEO of the Victorian Aboriginal Community Health Organisation (VACCHO) Originally published CROAKEY see in full part 2 below  : Aboriginal men’s health conference: “reclaim our rightful place and cultural footprint “

Download our Press Release NACCHO Press release Ochre Day

The National Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO) Chairperson John Singer, closed recent the Hobart Ochre Day Conference-Men’s Health, Our Way. Let’s Own It!

View interview with NACCHO Chair John Singer

Ochre Day is an important Aboriginal male health initiative to help draw attention to Aboriginal male health in a holistic way. The delegates fully embraced the conference theme, many spoke about their own journeys in the male health sector and all enjoyed participation in conference sessions, activities and workshops.

More than 200 delegates attended and heard from an impressive line-up of speakers and this year was no exception.

Delegates responded positively to The Hon. Ken Wyatt AM MP, Minister for Aged Care and Indigenous Health funding of an Aboriginal Television network.

View Minister Ken Wyatt speech

Mr John Paterson CEO of AMSANT spoke about the importance of women as partners in men’s health

View interview with John Paterson

and Mr Rod Little from National Congress delivered a brief history on the progress of a Treaty in Australia as a keynote address for the Jaydon Adams Oration Memorial Dinner. The winner of the Jaydon Adams award 2018 was Mr Aaron Everett.

View interview with Rod Little

A comprehensive quality program involving presentations from clinicians, researches, academics, medical experts and Aboriginal Health Practitioners were delivered.

Delegates listened to passionate speakers like Dr Mick Adams, Dr Mark Wenitong, Patrick Johnson.

View all interview here on NACCHO TV 

Joe Williams, Deon Bird, Kim Mulholland and Karl Briscoe. Topics included those on suicide, Deadly Choices, cardiovascular and other chronic diseases as well as family violence impacting Aboriginal Communities. Initiatives to address these problems were explored in workshops that were held to discuss how to make men’s health a priority and how to support the reaffirmation of cultural identity.

Speeches by Ross Williams, Stan Stokes and Charlie Adams addressed the establishment of Men’s Clinics within the Anyinginiyi Aboriginal Health Service and Wuchopperen Aboriginal Health Service, which demonstrated the positive impact that these facilities have had on men’s health and their emotional wellbeing.

These reports as well as the experiences related by delegates highlighted the urgent need for more Aboriginal Men’s Health Clinics to be established especially in regional, rural and remote areas.

As a result of interaction with a broad cross section of delegates the NACCHO Chairman
Mr John Singer was able to put forward a range of priorities that he believed would go some way to addressing some of the concerns raised.

These priorities were the acquisition of funds to enable the;

  • Establishment of 80 Men’s Health Clinics in urban, rural and remote locations and
  • The employment of both a Male Youth Health Policy Officer and Male (Adult) Health Policy Officer by NACCHO in Canberra.

Delegates also welcomed the funding of $3.4 million for the Aboriginal Health Television network provided that the programs were culturally appropriate and supported a
strength-based approach to Men’s Health.

Our Thanks to the Sponsors 

 

 

Part 2 Trevor Pearce is Acting CEO of the Victorian Aboriginal Community Health Organisation (VACCHO) Originally published CROAKEY 

 Aboriginal men’s health conference: “reclaim our rightful place and cultural footprint “

I’ve just returned from my first NACCHO Ochre Day Men’s Health Conference in Hobart, and it was so deadly, it most definitely won’t be my last.

About 260 Aboriginal men from the Kimberleys to urban environments and everywhere in between attended. White Ochre Day started as an Aboriginal response to White Ribbon Day. For Aboriginal people, White Ochre has significant cultural and ceremonial values for Aboriginal people.

It’s not just about the aesthetics of painting white ochre on to our skin, there are strong cultural elements to the ceremony and identity. Ochre Day is a gathering of Aboriginal men for sharing ideas of best practice and increasing access to better outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men for us to deal with family violence, and with spiritual healing, as Aboriginal men.

I was privileged to attend this conference with all the male Aboriginal staff members from VACCHO, who represented a diversity of ages and backgrounds. They work at VACCHO in areas including cultural safety, mental health, policy, sexual health and bloodborne viruses, telehealth, and alcohol and other drugs. It was a great bonding experience for us, and fantastic to be part of this national conversation.

Aboriginal men die much younger than Aboriginal women, and we die an awful lot younger than the non-Aboriginal population. We have the highest suicide rates in the world, and suffer chronic disease at high rates too.

We walk and live with poor health every day, and much of this is down to the symptoms that colonisation has brought us. We didn’t have these high rates of illness and suicide pre-colonisation, when we had strength in our culture, walked on our traditional homeland estates and we all spoke our languages. And we certainly didn’t have incarceration before contact.

A rightful place

The Ochre Day Conference covered all aspects of health and wellbeing for Aboriginal men; physical, mental, social and emotional wellbeing. It was about our need to reclaim our rightful place and cultural footprint on the Australian landscape.

It is a basic human right to be healthy and have good wellbeing, as is our right to embrace our culture. Improving our health is not just about the absence of disease, it’s about developing our connection to Country, our connection to family, and feeling positive about ourselves.

This position of reclamation of our right place within Australia society is critical given the current political landscape, and the challenges that Aboriginal people face. Victoria has an election in November, and a national election to come soon too. As Aboriginal people we know that race relations will be a tool used against us, and our lives will often be portrayed from the deficit point of view that will focus on what’s wrong with us.

In light of the above, it was good to hear about all the positive things Aboriginal men are doing across the country to help their families and communities, from the grassroots to the national level.

Rightfully, we talked a lot about mental health issues. There was a lot of personal sharing; men talking about their own issues; men who had attempted suicide speaking openly about it. There were survivors of abuse, of family violence. For any man, Aboriginal or non-Aboriginal, these are big things to get up and talk about.

I was so impressed and moved by what these Aboriginal men had to share. There was such generosity of spirit from these men in sharing their stories, and I’m not ashamed to say some of these brought me to tears.

 

NACCHO Aboriginal Male Health : History of #OchreDay2018 How one @Apunipima man’s drive to make a change can make a difference

“ I was fortunate enough to attend the first White Ochre Day in Mossman Gorge, after seeing the potential affect this type of event could make, I took the opportunity to share the concept with Mark Saunders from NACCHO and who then adopted the concept and developed it into the national event it is today.

Without the development through Mark and now NACCHO chair, John singer, this event wouldn’t have been possible.”

The name has changed from White Ochre to simply Ochre Day, because of the different meaning that Ochre plays in communities and culture across Australia. Dan should be incredibly proud that he started something as significant as this for Aboriginal Men’s Health “

Dr Mark Wenitong, the Public Health Medical Advisor at Apunipima ACCHO Cape York

Read over 360 Aboriginal Male Health articles published by NACCHO over 6 years

View NACCHO TV Interview with Dr Mark

Ochre Day is celebrated each year on 27th August; Ochre Day recognises the importance of Aboriginal Men’s Health and Social and Emotional Wellbeing and forms an integral of NACCHO’s Aboriginal Men’s Health initiative.

Download the Plan Here a-blueprint-for-aboriginal-male-healthy-futures 

In 2012, Dan Fischer, an Indigenous Male Health Worker at Apunipima Cape York Health Council in Mossman Gorge wanted to share with the men of his community, the support and guidance that his much loved grandfather had shown him. Dan saw that many of the programs and support services that were offered to the men in his community were developed to solve a problem, not to prevent them.

Dan wanted to help the men and boys of his community in a positive way that celebrates and upholds the traditional values of respect for Aboriginal laws, respect for elders, cultures and traditions. He also saw that there was a need to encourage the men of his community to become leaders and role models.

“My Grandfather, Peter Fischer, was a great role model for me. I was lucky.” Said Dan.

From the humble beginnings, of a group of men sharing and supporting each other, in a remote community in Far North Queensland, Ochre Day was celebrated.

Ochre Day was adopted the following year, by NACCHO (National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation) at an event held in Canberra, where Dan’s passion and commitment to Close the Gap and help the men in his community was recognised.

VIEW Minister Ken Wyatt Video HERE 

Ochre Day is now celebrated right across Australia. It is an opportunity for Aboriginal males of all ages to share knowledge and explore ways to engage with their local communities, as an essential and positive part of family and community life.

“My grandfather told me that I would do good things for the health of my people and all these years later, here I am,” Dan said.

Dan believes that the success of Ochre Day from these humble beginnings is because of the great role models he has had in his life, both personally and professionally. White Ochre Day in Mossman Gorge is Dan’s way of paying forward his good fortune.

Ochre Day is evidence that one person can make a difference.

NACCHO Aboriginal Health and #MyHealthRecord : @CHFofAustralia Do you have questions about #MyHealthPrivacy. ? Register for 6 webinars starting 8 August

My Health Record moving to an opt-out model is the most important digital health change for consumers in Australia in 2018.

To help people make an informed and considered decision about whether or not to opt-out of having a record created for them CHF are holding a series of 6 webinars, starting this week, that will cover the key information people need to understand the benefits and risks of My Health Record in the context of their own lives.

These interactive webinars will include knowledgeable panellists and provide a chance for questions from the public to be asked of them through the webinar service’s Q&A and chat functions.”

Full details and registrations Part 1 Below

 ” The Federal Government’s Health Care Homes is forcing patients to have a My Health Record to receive chronic care management through the program, raising ethical questions and concerns about discrimination.

The government’s Health Care Homes trial provides coordinated care for those with chronic and complex diseases through more than 200 GP practices and Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services nationally, and enrolment in the program requires patients to have a My Health Record or be willing to get one

See Part 2 below for debate ACCHO Chronic care patients forced to have My Health Records to access government’s Health Care Homes program

  ” NACCHO endorses and supports the My Health Record system initiative provided patient information and privacy is protected. The patient is in control of what information is placed in their electronic record and who else has access to it.

But want an assurance from the Health Minister that all patient records will be protected and if that requires further legislation then so be it.’

Mr John Singer, Chairperson of the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO)

Read over 35 NACCHO E- Health My Health Records articles published since 2012

Part 1

Before each webinar, we are also surveying and collating questions on each week’s topic through our website and on Twitter.

Over the coming weeks, the webinars will cover privacy and security, and overview of digital health in Australia, the benefits and risks, digital inclusion and health literacy.

You can find out more about the entire series here: https://chf.org.au/introduction-my-health-record-webinar-series

Details for Webinar 1: Privacy and Security of My Health Record

The first webinar is being held next Wednesday, 8 August at 12:30pm AEST and will focus on privacy and security.

Register here: http://www.webcasts.com.au/chf080818/

Questions and concerns on the topic can be submitted through the CHF website here: https://chf.org.au/introduction-my-health-record-webinar-series/webinar-1-privacy-and-security#questions

They can also be shared on Twitter using the hashtag #MyHealthPrivacy.

Your questions and concerns will be collated, edited and aggregated by CHF to put to the panellists at the webinar. It will also be possible to ask questions during the event.

Panellists

  • Kim Webber – General Manager, Strategy at the Australian Digital Health Agency
  • Karen Carey – Consumer Advocate, former chair of CHF and Chair of the NHMRC Community and Consumer Advisory Group
  • Dr Bruce Baer Arnold – Assistant Professor, Law at University of Canberra and Vice-chair of the Australian Privacy Foundation Board
  • Dr Charlotte Hespe M.B.B.S. Hons (Syd) DCH (Lon) FRACGP, FAICD – GP, Glebe Family Medical Centre and RACGP Vice President

My Health Record is an important reform that will only work and evolve in the right way if clinicians and consumers understand, trust, value, use and discuss the system. We hope that you will join us for these webinars as we discuss and question the key issues and information about My Health Record.

Part 2 Chronic care patients forced to have My Health Records to access government’s Health Care Homes program

FROM HERE

The Federal Government’s Health Care Homes is forcing patients to have a My Health Record to receive chronic care management through the program, raising ethical questions and concerns about discrimination.

The government’s Health Care Homes trial provides coordinated care for those with chronic and complex diseases through more than 200 GP practices and Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services nationally, and enrolment in the program requires patients to have a My Health Record or be willing to get one.

But GP and former AMA president Dr Kerryn Phelps claimed the demand for patients to sign up to the national health database to access Health Care Homes support is unethical.

“I have massive ethical concerns about that, particularly given the concerns around privacy and security of My Health Record. It is discriminatory and it should be removed,” Phelps told Healthcare IT News Australia.

Under a two-year trial beginning in late 2017, up to 65,000 people are eligible to become Health Care Homes patients as part of a government-funded initiative to improve care for those with long-term conditions including diabetes, arthritis, and heart and lung diseases.

Patients in the program receive coordinated care from a team including their GP, specialists and allied health professionals and according to the Department of Health: “All Health Care Homes’ patients need to have a My Health Record. If you don’t have a My Health Record, your care team will sign you up.”

Phelps said as such patients who don’t want a My Health Record have been unable to access a health service they would otherwise be entitled to.

“When you speak to doctors who are in involved in the Heath Care Homes trial, their experience is that some patients are refusing to sign up because they don’t want a My Health Record. So it is a discriminatory requirement.”

[Read more: Greg Hunt announces legislative changes to tighten privacy and security protections for My Health Record | Opposition calls for My Health Record roll out to be suspended as AMA seeks greater privacy protections]

It has also raised concerns about possible future government efforts to compel Australians to have My Health Records.

“The general feedback I’m getting is that the Health Care Homes trial is very disappointing to say the least but, nonetheless, what this shows is that signing up to My Health Record could just be made a prerequisite to sign up for other things like Centrelink payments or workers compensation.”

Human rights lawyer and Digital Rights Watch board member Lizzie O’Shea claims patients should have a right to choose whether they are signed up to the government’s online medical record without it affecting their healthcare.

“It is deeply concerning to see health services force their patients to use what has clearly been shown to be a flawed and invasive system. My Health Record has had sustained criticism from privacy advocates, academics and health professionals, and questions still remain to be answered on the privacy and security of how individual’s data will be stored, accessed and protected,” O’Shea said.

[Read more: Technical chaos and privacy backlash as My Health Record opt out period begins | My Health Record identified data to be made available to third parties]

Health Minister Greg Hunt this week announced legislative amendments to restrict access to individuals’ My Health Records by law enforcement and government agencies following a privacy backlash that had grown in momentum since the three month opt out period began on July 16.

Records of those who have chosen to opt out of the system will also now be deleted. Previously, data would remain in the system until 30 years after a person’s death, or when date of death was unknown for 130 years after the date of birth.

The three-month opt out period has also been extended to November 12.

About 6 million people currently have a My Health Record and remaining Australians will have a record created for them by the end of the year unless they opt out.

The Opposition’s Shadow Health Minister Catherine King claimed the government’s changes don’t go far enough.

“Minister Hunt’s response to this fiasco that has become the implementation of the My Health Record is entirely inadequate. We’ve had weeks where the minister has been out there saying there is nothing to see here, there is no problem, particularly no problem when it comes to the legislative provisions relating to court orders and access by law enforcement bodies. We now see that, again, that was entirely untrue,” King said.

“We don’t believe that anything less than a suspension of the opt-out of the My Health Record, whilst the government rebuilds community trust in the My Health Record, will be sufficient. This government has presided over a failure of implementation, and it comes with a litany of other failures. When it comes to the National Disability Insurance Scheme implementation, when it came to Census fail, when it comes to the roll out of the National Broadband Network.”

According to O’Shea, the Health Care Homes revelation raises further concerns about a system that has been mired in recent controversy. She said Indigenous people may be particularly wary of My Health Record, penalising some of the most vulnerable Australian patients.

NACCHO Aboriginal Health and #MensHealthWeek 3 of 3 #OchreDay2018 News 1. @GregHuntMP announces a National Male Health Strategy to support the health of men and boys 2. @MyHealthRec Men encouraged to connect with their health with a #Myhealthrecord

During 2018 Men’s Health Week it is important to remember that in Australia, like most countries, males have poorer health outcomes on average than females.

More males die at every stage of life. Males have more accidents, are more likely to take their own lives and are more prone to lifestyle-related chronic health conditions than women and girls at the same age.

This is why I am announcing today, the beginning of a process to establish a National Male Health Strategy for the period 2020 to 2030. “

The Hon. Greg Hunt Minister for Health full press release Part 1

The AMA welcomes today’s announcement of the establishment of a 10-year National Male Health Strategy that will target the mental and physical health of men and boys.

The AMA called for a major overhaul of men’s health policy in April this year, including a new national strategy to address the different expectations, experiences, and situations facing Australian men.

Australian men are less likely to seek treatment from a general practitioner or other health professional, and are less likely to have the supports and social connections needed when they experience physical and mental health problems

We look forward to engaging with the Turnbull Government to develop initiatives to address the reasons why men are reluctant to engage with GPs, and the consequence of that reluctance, and to invest in innovative models of care than overcome these barriers “

AMA President, Dr Tony Bartone, said the AMA was pleased that the Federal Government recognised that Australian males have poorer health outcomes, on average, than Australian females. In full Part 2 below

Encouraging men to discuss their health with their doctor, pharmacist, or other healthcare specialist can be difficult.

My Health Record supports and assists men to have these conversations, enabling better connected care and, ultimately, better health outcomes,”

My Health Record gives men and the broader community the capacity to upload important health information including allergies, medical conditions and treatments, medicine details, test results and immunisations; supporting them in remembering the dates of tests, medicine names, or dosages “

Australian Digital Health Agency Chief Medical Adviser Clinical Professor Meredith Makeham said My Health Record provided many valuable benefits for men. in full Part 3 Below

NACCHO Aboriginal #MensHealthWeek and #OchreDay2018 Launch :

Download 30 years 1988 – 2018 of Aboriginal Male Health Strategies and Summit recommendations

To celebrate #MensHealthWeek NACCHO has launched its National #OchreDay2018 Mens Health Summit program and registrations

The NACCHO Ochre Day Health Summit in August provides a national forum for all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander male delegates, organisations and communities to learn from Aboriginal male health leaders, discuss their health concerns, exchange share ideas and examine ways of improving their own men’s health and that of their communities

The two day conference is free: To register

Part 1 Greg Hunt press release

The Australian Government will establish a decade-long National Male Health Strategy that will focus on the mental and physical health of men and boys.

During 2018 Men’s Health Week it is important to remember that in Australia, like most countries, males have poorer health outcomes on average than females.

More males die at every stage of life. Males have more accidents, are more likely to take their own lives and are more prone to lifestyle-related chronic health conditions than women and girls at the same age.

This is why I am announcing today, the beginning of a process to establish a National Male Health Strategy for the period 2020 to 2030.

Building on the 2010 National Male Health Policy, the strategy will aim to identify what is required to improve male health outcomes and provide a framework for taking action.

The strategy will be developed in consultation with key experts and stakeholders in male health, and importantly, the public will be invited to have a say through online consultation later this year.

Australian men and boys are vital to the health and happiness of their families and communities, but need to pay more attention to their own mental and physical wellbeing.

During Men’s Health Week, men are encouraged to talk about their health with someone they trust.

I encourage all men to take time this week to think about their own health and wellbeing and participate in events happening across the country.

The Turnbull Government provides funding to a number of organisations that focus on the health of men and boys including Men’s Health Information Resource Centre at Western Sydney University, Andrology Australia and the Australian Men’s Health Forum.

The National Male Health Strategy builds on and complements the National Women’s Health Strategy 2020 to 2030 I announced at the National Women’s Health Summit in February.

Part 2 AMA WELCOMES NATIONAL MALE HEALTH STRATEGY

The AMA welcomes today’s announcement of the establishment of a 10-year National Male Health Strategy that will target the mental and physical health of men and boys.

AMA President, Dr Tony Bartone, said the AMA was pleased that the Federal Government recognised that Australian males have poorer health outcomes, on average, than Australian females.

“In Australia, men have a life expectancy of approximately four years less than women, and have a higher mortality rate from most leading causes of death,” Dr Bartone said.

“Australian men are less likely to seek treatment from a general practitioner or other health professional, and are less likely to have the supports and social connections needed when they experience physical and mental health problems.

“An appropriately-funded and implemented National Male Health Strategy is needed to deliver a cohesive platform for the improvement of male health service access and men’s health outcomes.

“This does not mean taking funding away from women’s health strategies. Initiatives that address the health needs of one gender should not occur at the expense of the other.

“Men and women should be given equal opportunity to realise their potential for a healthy life.

“The AMA congratulates Health Minister, Greg Hunt, for his decision to begin the process to establish a National Male Health Strategy for the period 2020 to 2030.

“We look forward to engaging with the Turnbull Government to develop initiatives to address the reasons why men are reluctant to engage with GPs, and the consequence of that reluctance, and to invest in innovative models of care than overcome these barriers.

“Compared to women, Australian men not only see their GP less often but, when they do see a doctor, it is for shorter consultations, and typically when a condition or illness is advanced.

“Men’s Health Week is an opportune time for Australian men to do something positive for their physical or mental health – book in for a preventive health check with a trusted GP, get some exercise, have an extra alcohol-free day, or reach out to check on the wellbeing of a mate.”

The AMA Position Statement on Men’s Health 2018 is at https://ama.com.au/position-statement/mens-health-2018

Background

  • Australian men are more than twice as likely to die in a motor vehicle accident than Australian women.
  • Men have a lower five-year survival rate for all cancers than women.
  • Australian men experience approximately 75 per cent of the burden of drug-related harm.
  • More than three in four suicide deaths in Australia are men, and intentional self-harm is the leading cause of death in men under 54 years of age.
  • Men are more likely to be in full-time work and may have less time for medical appointments.
  • Men are traditionally employed in high-risk jobs, especially in the trades, transport, construction, and mining industries.
  • Australian men are twice as likely as Australian women to exceed the lifetime risk guidelines for alcohol consumption, with one in four men drinking at a rate that puts them at risk of alcohol-related disease.

 

Part 3

Creating a My Health Record is one way men can be proactive about their health and make it a priority this Men’s Health Week, running between June 11 – 17.

My Health Record is a secure online summary of a person’s health information that can be accessed at any time by the individual and their healthcare providers.

Australian Men’s Shed Association Executive Officer David Helmers said My Health Record will make it easier for men who may find visiting healthcare professionals difficult or uncomfortable.

“We know that men often avoid having conversations about their health – particularly when those conversations involve visiting a healthcare provider.

“My Health Record takes some of the pain out of keeping a consistent record of our health and is a great platform for ongoing health management.

“Right from the get-go males are more likely to be involved in accidents or become ill, so as we age, it becomes even more important to stay on top of health information,” Mr Helmers said.

33 year-old Nick Morton was forced to take a serious look at his overall health after suffering a heart attack while working in North Queensland.

“I had a rupture in my artery wall – it was a big wake-up call going into cardiac rehab and I was the youngest by 20 years. I ended up really thinking about my health and becoming more aware of my medical history so I registered with My Health Record,” Mr Morton said.

After Nick returned to the family doctor back in his home state, his Melbourne based doctor was able to securely log onto My Health Record and view Nick’s Queensland medical history.

“It helped me having a digital copy of everything instead of having to go to my GP or cardiologist with a binder full of all my records,” Mr Morton said.

All Australians will have the benefit of receiving a My Health Record before the end of 2018, unless they choose not to have one.

Getting familiar with what is included in an individual’s personal record can assist in being prepared in an emergency like the one Nick Morton experienced. Nick now advocates a more proactive approach.

“I thought I was in control of my health and took it for granted like most blokes my age. There’s no excuse not to keep track of your health. Go to your GP and ask about my Health Record.”

Australian Digital Health Agency Chief Medical Adviser Clinical Professor Meredith Makeham said My Health Record provided many valuable benefits for men.

“Encouraging men to discuss their health with their doctor, pharmacist, or other healthcare specialist can be difficult.”

“My Health Record supports and assists men to have these conversations, enabling better connected care and, ultimately, better health outcomes,” Dr Makeham said.

My Health Record gives men and the broader community the capacity to upload important health information including allergies, medical conditions and treatments, medicine details, test results and immunisations; supporting them in remembering the dates of tests, medicine names, or dosages.

A major advantage of having a My Health Record is individuals having 24-hour, 7 day per week access to their own health information.

For further information visit www.myhealthrecord.gov.au or call 1800 723 471