Previously the Youth Mental Health Development Officer created and maintained an important blog. Due to the cessation of the position, IIOY has continued to disseminate through our social media site located here. The page is geared to all things children, youth and parenting. We hope you enjoy the regular updates or feel free to scroll through the past blog entries below ~ IIOY Team.

Leadership in Mental Health PRRAWA presents….

Have you heard?

Psychosocial Rehabilitation & Recovery Association WA (PRRAWA) are hosting a free forum (video link-in available) in Perth on December 12th 2014.

The forum is titled Community Rehabilitation and Recovery with four panel members:

Mark Pestell, Area Manager, SMHS Mental Health Strategy & Leadership Unit
Rod Astbury, Executive Director, WA Association Mental Health
Roger Golling, A/Assistant Director Contracts Public Health, Mental Health Commission
Anna Richards, New Futures, MH Consumer Consultant, Activist & Catalyst for Change

As mentioned, video link-in is available through registration where you can also post questions for the panel follow this link.

With such a great representation of the sector including consumer consultant Anna Richards, why not spend your Friday afternoon from 2:30pm – 4:00pm delving into this year’s final formal discussions addressing rehabilitation and recovery.

You can also find PRRAWA on Facebook.


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Communities Matter – a small town resource

Suicide Prevention Toolkit – A Small Town Resource

Mental Health Commission of NSW and Suicide Prevention Australia have partnered to deliver this wonderful resource aimed at smaller communities. The objective of the toolkit is to provide a platform for conversation whether it be initiated by an individual in the community or an established group/NGO that wants to continue the work they have begun in their community addressing suicide, by adding other resources or activities.

The Key Principles

The content and format of the toolkit reflects the following key principles:

  • The community is best placed to identify its local needs and priorities.
  • Suicide prevention is everybody’s business and is a shared community responsibility, involving individuals, families and government and non-government agencies at local, state and national levels.
  • A community needs support and information on what approaches could be used for the whole community, for specific groups within the community and for individuals at risk to help inform its decisions and actions.
  • Community-driven suicide prevention also needs processes that enable input from, and consultation with the community, experts and those who have attempted or are bereaved by suicide. This will ensure that the activities the community implements are accessible, appropriate and responsive to the social and cultural needs of the people it aims to support and assist.
  • Community action can result in a once-off activity or can involve a range of activities that occur over a longer period of time.
  • It is important for the community to reflect on whether the activity it has undertaken has been effective. That is, evaluation should be part of a community suicide prevention action plan.  postquote1


A wonderful resource for small communities with incredibly thorough detailed sections on:

  • Dos & Dont’s.
  • What can the community do?
  • How to mobilise your community.
  • Beginning the conversation.
  • Working towards a prevention action plan.
  • Promotion of positive mental health.
  • Working with the media.
  • Background information on suicide.
  • Further Resources.

It is a lengthy document but very user friendly with clear language and easy to follow hyperlinks placed throughout to allow for intuitive use. IIOY can’t praise the information provided enough – easy to make reference to including really great current info for example:

Page 27 on Myths and Facts. Click the snapshot below to get a closer look.

myths and facts










You can follow this link for free access to the view or download the full document/toolkit.

IIOY would like to invite you to speak to someone from Lifeline on 13 11 14 or other support services if this article has raised any feelings of distress.






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It’s 10/10… #MentalAs. But have you heard about Huntington’s – Part 1

As you’re likely already very aware – today is World Mental Health Day which coincides perfectly with our Aussie Mental Health Week. There is so much to share and never enough space to share it in…

From ABC’s hashtag social media campaign #MentalAs to Mental Health Australia’s post your mental health promise the depth and breadth of awareness raising, to tips on how to stay mentally healthy are vast and frankly, quite wonderful! Here at IIOY we highly recommend booting your computer up and loading iView to watch the three part series on Changing Minds – The Inside Story, but please note the series does have an M-rated classification so viewer discretion is advised.

IIOY is fascinated by all things in the mind and this week, in honour of Mental Health Week and the vast array of forms illness and disease takes, we decided to investigate the rare neurodegenerative disease Huntington’s.

We highly recommend listening to the pod-cast called Dr. Gilmer and Mr. Hyde as aired on This American Life in April 2013 about a doctor, a former doctor and the genetic disease:

As Benjamin settles in at the clinic, and people got to know him, something interesting happens. Vince’s former patients – who are now Benjamin’s patients – start talking to him about Vince. What he finds out surprises him. postquote1

Here’s what we have learnt so far about HD:

Huntington’s Disease (HD) is an inherited brain disease that causes deterioration of the physical (movement disorders including chorea), cognitive (dementia) and emotional-self, progressing for 10-20 years after onset. It’s genetic. This means that if a diagnosis is conclusive, there is a 50% chance that HD will be inherited by offspring – and according to this source, not all who are at risk of inheriting the disease opt to take the genetic test to determine whether they in fact have it. HD is caused by the expansion of a trinucleotide (CAG) repeat in a single gene that is autosomal dominant – this means basically that the HD gene is faulty.

HD often encompasses difficult behaviours and psychiatric symptoms including depression, anxiety, hallucinations and delusions however these are often well managed through medication.

MRI scans of people suffering from HD show atrophy of specific regions of the brain not limited to but importantly the caudate which operates much like a ‘gate’ and significantly this ‘gate’ has the most connections through to the frontal lobes and influences mood, motor skill and cognition. There is no cure for this deterioration however resent research has showed promising results in gene-environment interactions. Read more here.

HD is a fascinating yet devastatingly incurable disease. Symptoms occur at different phases of the illness with potential to wax and wane and may not be experienced by all who are diagnosed. The environment plays a key role in severity of symptom expression and provided benefical effects for sufferers by enriching their environments.

For more information please click on the link below. IIOY hopes to follow up on the behavioral and psychological symptoms of HD.

Understanding Behaviour in Huntington’s Disease

Behavioural and Psychological Symptoms of HD

Behavioural Neuroscience

Huntington’s Western Australia

This American Life Podcast

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