Articles on Mental health

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Extreme anxiety is debilitating. Porschelinn

For some people, anxiety and phobias are taken to extremes

Anxiety is a common experience. It is entirely normal to feel anxious in certain circumstances or when imagining possible misfortunes. However, for some people it gets out of hand and severely affects…
Sunlight has repeatedly been found to boost positive moods, though the link is weaker than many people imagine. Image from shutterstock.com

Here comes the sun: how the weather affects our mood

The weather supplies many metaphors for our changeable minds. Moods can brighten and darken, dispositions can be sunny, futures can be under a cloud and relationships can be stormy. Like the weather, our…
Read with caution. David Jones/PA

Hard evidence: how dangerous is mental illness?

Once again, the issue of mental illness and public danger has hit the headlines, following the murder of Christina Edkins by Phillip Simelane. It was reported Simelane was released from prison with no…
The process of being born may affect how our brain develops and whether we’re susceptible to brain disorders. JoséMa Orsini

Giving birth to new insights into brain development and disease

Each one of us is the complex product of nature and nurture, genes and environment. They combine in a myriad of complex ways during embryonic and postnatal development to sculpt our brains and bodies…
Christina Edkins’ murder was a rare and awful thing. Joe Giddens/PA

The Sun splash missed point on ‘mental patient murders’

1,200 killed by mental patients – shock ten-year toll exposes care crisis The Sun used this apparently shocking statistic this week to blame the criminal justice system for the death of Christina Edkins…
We know young refugees have an increased risk of depression, but this is only part of the story. Image from shutterstock.com

Getting the facts about refugee and migrant mental health in Australia

Refugees and asylum seekers living in Australia are particularly vulnerable to self-harm and suicidal behaviours, but aren’t getting the specialised mental health care they need, according to a Spotlight…
‘Hug a hoodie’ as David Cameron would say. ssoosay

Hard Evidence: has life got worse for young people?

Smoking, drinking and hanging around street corners is a common characterisation of a bored, unhealthy, unemployed youth. Life is getting worse for young people, we’re often led to believe, but what do…
Australian Aboriginals are at most risk of bad physical and mental health and they have the worst health services in the country. publik16/Flickr

Improving Aboriginal health and well-being: a view from the north

Aboriginal people living in remote communities have much worse health status and longevity than other Australians. And this imbalance will not be remedied until governments work with Aboriginal leaders…
Lights, camera, police action. PA

There’s still too much haze around cannabis psychosis

Sourcing unbiased information about the health effects of using cannabis has always been difficult. Government-sponsored propaganda was evident as far back as the 1930s in the film Reefer Madness, which…
Given the money Australia has spent on mental health, it’s surprising that population data doesn’t show expected gains. Ben Barnes

Why hasn’t the mental health of Australians improved?

Despite two decades of investment in improving mental health services, the mental health of Australians has not improved. This may be because haven’t been spending money on the right approach and need…
Opposition Leader Tony Abbott (centre) speaks to the media as Professor Patrick McGorry (right) and Senator Connie Fierravanti Wells look on during a press conference to launch the Liberal-National Party coalition plan for mental health. LISA MAREE WILLIAMS/AAP

Mental health is largely missing from the election campaign

Launching the Coalition’s policy for Efficient Mental Health Research and Services late last week, Tony Abbott said he wished all his policy statements attracted such media attention. Given the Australian…
Being sectioned in a mental hospital may not mean the best care. Truester

Patients sectioned for beds, but hospitals not the best place to be

Claims that doctors are sectioning mental health patients in order to get them access to beds on psychiatric wards amount to “more than anecdotal evidence”, according to a committee of MPs who have just…
Dark side of the moon: does it hold some power over us? PA/Anthony Devlin

We shouldn’t dismiss the moon’s power to influence

As a teenager I observed a strange phenomenon. On awakening from an unusually vivid dream, I would often find that the moon was full. And as the silvery light prevailed on subsequent nights, my nocturnal…
Prisoners’ mental health was identified as an issue in the 1700s. Pickersgill Reef

Police are unprepared to care for people with mental illness

As long ago as 1780, John Howard noted that prisons were housing more “idiots and lunatics” and emphasised the detrimental effects that this had on the prison regime for both sets of prisoners. But while…

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