NACCHO Health Technology NEWS: National online youth counselling service goes mobile


Image above Headspace

Young people can now use their smartphones and tablet devices to access Australia’s only youth-specific online mental health service staffed exclusively by qualified clinicians.

The new mobile-enabled eheadspace website will make it even easier for teenagers and young adults to get support when and where they need it for issues such as bullying, depression, anxiety and relationship breakups.

Launching the new website on the Gold Coast,headspace CEO Chris Tanti said the changes recognised that an increasing number of young people were accessing the online world through their mobile devices.

“The most recent figures show that more than three quarters of 18-25 year olds now access the Internet via their mobile devices and a third surf the web on an iPad or other tablet,” Mr Tanti said.

“These numbers will only go up. headspaceunderstands these trends and we are improving our services to ensure that we’re supporting young people via the channels they are using.”

Mr Tanti said eheadspace had grown rapidly since it was established 18 months ago, with around 18,000 young people now registered for the service, which offers free support to 12-25 year olds via instant messaging, email and over the telephone.

The new website not only allows young people to receive support via their iPhone, iPad or Android device, but also includes a range of other innovations, including:

  • A virtual waiting room with YouTube videos and reading material to entertain and inform young people while they wait for their appointment;
  • A ‘My Account’ page for each registered user, allowing them to manage their settings and review past eheadspacesessions;
  • Responsive web design that fits eheadspace to the screen of any device, even those that haven’t been released yet;
  • Emoticons to help young people express how they are feeling; and
  • Vastly improved accessibility for young people with disabilities.

Mr Tanti said eheadspace, an initiative of the Australian Government, was all about creating a service that young people wanted to come to by making it as accessible and youth-friendly as possible.

“If you are a young person, you need to know thatheadspace will be there for you wherever you are,” Mr Tanti said.

“If you want to go to a centre, we have 55 around the country for you to access. But if you don’t live near aheadspace centre, or prefer talking about your concerns online or over the phone, the neweheadspace site is a great option. And if you want support at school, our new School Support program is also there to help.”

Mr Tanti said the eheadspace innovations would be especially significant for young people living outside capital cities who don’t have immediate access to in person mental health services.

“Our network of centres is growing rapidly but even with this growth there are still young Australians who live too far from a centre to get regular assistance,” Mr Tanti said.

The new eheadspace website complements other essential online counselling services such as those offered by Kids Helpline and Lifeline.

Manager of eheadspace Vikki Ryall said the significant growth in the number of young people coming through its virtual doors indicates that many now see online support as a preferable option.

“We hear it all the time, young people saying ‘Finally, adults are talking to us in the way we want to be spoken to, over the medium we prefer’,” Ms Ryall said.

“We know some young people still find it hard to walk into a traditional mental health service, so options likeeheadspace make the first step of getting help much easier.”

Ms Ryall said eheadspace was expanding its service all the time, with support for parents now available, as well as a GP service soon to be offered. Recently a vocational expert was appointed to help support young people in their work or study needs.

“Young people are voting with their feet and signing up to these services in larger and larger numbers every month. We hope the improvements announced today will make it even more popular across the country,” she said.

headspace media contact: Ben Hart, Public Affairs Manager
Mobile: 0407 445 551

NACCHO-PRESS TV:Canadian Aboriginals facing health care discrimination

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What can the Australian Aboriginal controlled health movement learn from the Canadian experience?
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“According to the report, while factors like poverty and the impact of colonization are known to have an impact on Aboriginal health, a “Western approach to health care” seems to be reinforcing stereotypes, alienating and intimidating patients.”
The  facts are outlined in a 74-page document titled “empathy, dignity and respect,” The Health Council of Canada released it not too long ago and what it is shows is Aboriginal Canadians face racism and stereotyping when it comes to obtaining health care all throughout the country. Pamela Shauk heads The Native Friendship Centre of Montreal, a non-profit helping to improve he life in the Urban Aboriginal community of Montreal.

Now the independent national agency is calling for “culturally competent” care and environments in which aboriginal patients can be treated with understanding and respect.”

But even so doubt looms among Aboriginals and other Canadians.

The report was based on meetings with health care providers across the country, many of whom were aboriginal.The Health Council of Canada says when Aboriginal patients arrive whether it’s in an emergency room or in any health centre — they’re not necessarily seen for who they are and consequently not respected, and are not treated as fellow human beings.

Because of it, Aboriginal patients are now avoiding care or drop out of treatment programs.The situation is all the more concerning because aboriginal people often have poorer health and shorter life expectancies than other Canadians.

According to the report, while factors like poverty and the impact of colonization are known to have an impact on Aboriginal health, a “Western approach to health care” seems to be reinforcing stereotypes, alienating and intimidating patients.

Funding grants support opportunity for NACCHO members to attend the 12th National Rural Health Conference


Funding /grant support opportunity for selected NACCHO member delegates

Application Guidelines

About the 12th National Rural Health Conference

The biennial National Rural Health Conference is the largest regular public event on the calendar of those interested in improving health and wellbeing in rural and remote Australia.

The 12th National Rural Health Conference will bring together over 1,000 delegates from across the nation: community representatives, health practitioners, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, regional development interests, researchers, local, State and Federal Government health officers, students and health service managers.

It is a major opportunity for people in the rural and remote health sector to report on how they are meeting the challenges involved in providing safe, high quality services to their communities.

 Information about the Conference and the Conference program are available at

The grants will allow selected individuals to:

  • participate as delegates in a national Conference aimed at improving the health of people living in rural and remote areas of Australia;
  • network with Conference delegates from all over Australia and communicate with them about successful programs that have been developed by and for rural and remote communities; and
  • learn about health services and programs which could be applied in their own communities and organisations.

The grants are available for:

representatives of local organisations in rural or remote areas that support:

  •  Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people;
  •  older people; and/or
  •  people with a disability and (as necessary) their carer; or
  • individuals from rural or remote areas who are in one or more of those three categories.

 The grants will cover:

  • conference registration
  • accommodation (including breakfast) for up to four nights
  • travel by air or other means – not exceedng the cost of the best value fare available at the time.
  • Costs of other meals and incidental expenses during the Conference will be the responsibility of the grant recipient. (The NRHA will be able to assist grant recipients with arrangements for Conference registration, travel and accommodation.)

To apply for a grant, applicants must confirm that:

  • they do not have access to other sources of funding (eg from an employer) to support Conference attendance;
  • they agree to attend Conference sessions and other Conference events; and
  • they are willing and have the capacity to meet any additional costs associated with attending the Conference.

Assessment of Applications

Preference will be given to applicants who demonstrate their involvement with organisations and programs devoted to improving the health and wellbeing of people from rural and remote areas.

Applications will be assessed and funding recipients decided on the basis of the information contained in the application and supporting documentation by a selection group made up of:a representative of the 12 th  NRH Conference Advisory Committee,a representative of the NRHA Council; and the NRHA Executive Director or his nominee.

 Applications must be received by cob 25 February 2013. Applicants will be notified of the outcome of their application in early March 2013.

Privacy Statement

The information provided in this application form will be used only to assess the applicant’s eligibility for funding support to attend the 12th National Rural Health Conference. Any information supplied to the National Rural Health Alliance in connection with the application will be dealt with in accordance with the National Privacy Principles of the Privacy Act 1988.

Empathy,dignity,and respect:Creating cultural safety for Aboriginal people in Canada’s urban health care

Canada Aboriginal_Report-Cultural safety_Page_01


• Cultural competency is about creating a health care environment that is free of racism and stereotypes, where Aboriginal people are treated with empathy, dignity and respect.

• Cultural safe care involves building trust with Aboriginal patients and recognizing the role of socioeconomic conditions, history, and politics in health.

You can download report here (released December 2012)

View the report VIDEO on NACCHO TV -YouTube

Full information from Health Canada website


Demographics and health indicators of Aboriginal People

• Evidence indicates a continuation of gaps in health status between Aboriginal people and the larger Canadian population

• As a group, Aboriginal people have the poorest health outcomes and the shortest life expectancies of all Canadians

• As a whole, the Aboriginal population in Canada is younger than the non-Aboriginal population1

• The birth rate among the overall Aboriginal population continues to be much higher than for the general population1

– Aboriginal women have on average 2.6 children over their lifetime, while the average for women in Canada as a whole is 1.52

• Approximately half of Canada’s 1.3 million Aboriginal people live in cities

Aboriginal Disparities

• There are significant overall health and socio-economic disparities between Aboriginal and the larger Canadian population. First Nations, Inuit and Métis populations:

– Aboriginal children are more likely to die in the first year of life

– have a higher burden of chronic health conditions and infectious diseases

– are more likely live in poor health and die prematurely

– are less likely to graduate from high school and more likely to be unemployed

– are more likely to live in poverty which contributes to higher incidence of poor nutrition, obesity and living in overcrowded and substandard housing

It is well documented that many underlying factors negatively affect the health of Aboriginal people, including racism and negative stereotypes that are entrenched in society.


You can download report here

View the report VIDEO on NACCHO TV -YouT

Closing the gap on Aboriginal cancer rates at La Perouse NSW

Download  Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Resources

Aboriginal Cancer Journeys: Our stories of kinship, hope and survival

Four health and community organisations have signed an historic partnership agreement to work together to improve health outcomes for the local Aboriginal community at La Perouse.

Guriwal Aboriginal Corporation, the La Perouse Aboriginal and United Men’s Association, Eastern Sydney Medicare Local, and the Cancer Council NSW, signed on to formally work together to reduce cancer risks and improve access to local health services.

Guriwal Aboriginal Corporation manager, Karen Cooley, said the partnership was an important step forward towards closing the gap.

“Cancer affects many local Aboriginal people, families and the whole community, so it’s time we joined forces to fight this and many other chronic diseases,” she said.

Garry Ardler, from the La Perouse Men’s Group said men rarely discussed their health, but hoped the collaboration would “encourage more fellas to not only talk about but also take action to improve their health and wellbeing”.

Lisa Merrison, from Eastern Sydney Medicare Local, said the formal partnership recognised and progressed the important and successful work already been undertaken by each of the individual organisations, and demonstrated an ongoing commitment of future collaboration.