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24 June 2015 | 24 Pipiri 2015

Ngā mihi mahana kia koe,

You’re in for some heightened wellbeing during this year’s Mental Health Foundation Matariki celebrations, when comedian Jamaine Ross lends his support.

Laughter improves your catecholamine levels (fancy word for feel good hormones). So, where you can, incorporate some into your Matariki events and activities, 20 June to 19 July.

In case you’ve missed it in the past, Matariki is the Māori name for the star cluster known as the Pleiades. Traditionally, when the star cluster appears just before dawn in the month of June, it signals the start of the Māori New Year. Matariki is celebrated with many events and activities across Aotearoa.

Keep an eye out for Matariki celebrations in your area – local newspapers and council websites are great places to start and get your giggle on!

Naku iti nei,

Vaea Hutchen
Mental Health Promoter, Ōtautahi

Book blog

Executive Assistant Margaret Wikaire reviews The Anxiety Toolkit by Alice Boyes.

What a great little book! I picked it up because the word toolkit indicated it might be more practical than wordy, and it is.

Contributing to the book’s feel-good, uncritical style, is that author Alice Boyes tells readers first up that she suffers from anxiety herself and uses many personal examples... Read Margaret's review

Latest news

Meet Davo, the face of Australia’s beyondblue's focus on blue collar men's mental health
He is loud, brash and bold with a broad Aussie accent and he's here to help. Meet Davo, the "larrikin tradie", beyondblue's latest creation. His job is to tell men in blue collar work to "pull their thumb out" and seek help for mental health issues like stress, anger or sadness, The Age reports.

Recalling positive memories reverses stress-induced depression
In a remarkable demonstration of the curative power of memory, scientists have established that artificial reactivation of memories stored during a positive experience can suppress the effects of stress-induced depression, according to Science Daily

Strategy to improve results in social services 
A new long-term strategy for social service investment will deliver better results for at-risk children, young people and adults, along with more effective use of taxpayer money, Social Development Minister Anne Tolley says.

New edition of MindMatters 
MindMatters is a mental health initiative for secondary schools that aims to improve the mental health and wellbeing of young people. MindMatters has been redeveloped and its new iteration includes a suite of new professional learning resources.

New NZ research & resources

Hīkaka te anawa: Making a difference for rangatahi
Sokratov, A., & O’Brien, J.M. (2014, October). Wellington: Health and Disability Commissioner and Te Rau Matatini.
This report comes from the collective desire of rangatahi mental health and addiction services across New Zealand to document their common successes and challenges. It draws on the collective experiences of 21 services across New Zealand, compelling insights from the people who are working at the grass roots and making a difference for rangatahi.

Cannabis use 2012/13: New Zealand Health Survey
Ministry of Health. (2015, May 28). Wellington.
Around 8% of cannabis users report a time in the last 12 months that cannabis use had a harmful effect on their mental health. Younger cannabis users (aged 25–34 years) are most affected, with reported harm to mental health decreasing markedly by age 55+ years.

Oranga niho me ngā tangata whaiora: Oral health and Māori mental health patients
Steinman, M., et al. (2015, June). Dunedin: University of Otago.
This research explores rehabilitative dental treatment provided to a small group of Māori mental health patients within the Western Bay of Plenty and how this contributes to improved mental health functioning, oral health and quality of life. The researchers find that following oral rehabilitation, participants report an improvement in their psycho-social wellbeing, oral function, self-esteem, relationships, and dynamics within their immediate social environment.

Kia Piki te Ora Suicide Prevention Programme evaluation final report
Kahui Tautoko Consulting Limited. (2015, June). Wellington: Ministry of Health.
This evaluation report shows that generally stakeholders feel Kia Piki te Ora’s contribution to Māori suicide prevention works well when providers engage with the community. However, the widespread activities undertaken by the nine providers means that in some instances stakeholders were unclear on the core role and responsibilities of Kia Piki te Ora.

New international research & resources

Religion, spirituality, and health: A review and update 
Koenig, H.G. (2015). Advances in Mind-Body Medicine, 29(3), 19-26. 
This article summarises research on religion, spirituality and health, including some of the latest work being done by research teams at Columbia, Harvard and Duke universities, as well as other academic medical centres. 

Paediatric-onset and adult-onset separation anxiety disorder across countries in the World Mental Health Survey 
Silove, D., et al. (2015, June 5). American Journal of Psychiatry, Epub ahead of print.
Separation anxiety disorder is a common and highly co-morbid disorder that can occur across the lifespan. Childhood adversity and lifetime trauma are important antecedents, and adverse effects on role function make it a significant target for treatment.

A qualitative exploration of service users’ information needs and preferences when receiving a serious mental health diagnosis 
Milton, A.C., & Mullan, B.A. (2015). Community Mental Health Journal, 51(4), 459-66.
Helpful strategies for communicating news of a serious mental health diagnosis are poorly understood. This study explores service users' preferences for how they would like clinicians to deliver such news when a diagnosis of mental illness is made.

Peer support: What is it and does it work?
(2015, May). US: National Voices.
This review finds evidence that peer support can help people feel more knowledgeable, confident and happy, and less isolated and alone. It also shows there is a limited understanding of the different forms of peer support, how best to deliver support and the forms of training and infrastructure to get the most impact from it. The study concludes that further evidence is needed to fully understand the impact it has on the health service and those with long-term health conditions.

Your Way: An evaluation of a model of community mental health support developed by Together for Mental Wellbeing
(2015, May). UK: Mental Health Foundation, UK.
On the whole, participants are positive about Your Way and feel understood by staff. Some are able to reduce their contact with statutory services with support from Your Way staff. Further work is needed to better understand how innovative, community based support services can help support people with mental health problems and which groups benefit most.

Update on flourishing & wellbeing

Conceptualising wellbeing for young people living with mental illness 
Honey, A., et al. (2015, June). International Journal of Therapy and Rehabilitation, 22(6), 278-287.
Assisting clients to achieve wellbeing, even in the presence of ongoing mental illness, should be a primary goal of mental health services. However, little is known about what wellbeing means for young people living with mental illness. The aim of this study is to explore the ways in which young Australians living with mental illness conceptualise their wellbeing.

Update on stigma & discrimination

The relationship of perceived campus culture to mental health help-seeking intentions 
Chen, J.I., et al. (2015, June). Journal of Counselling Psychology, Epub ahead of print.
Despite mental health issues being widespread on college campuses, the majority of college students do not seek help. Prior research suggests several individual factors that may be related to mental health help-seeking. There has been little work considering the broader role of the college environment on person-level predictors of mental health help-seeking, specifically the relationship with perceived campus culture. 

Workshops, conferences and meetings

For events visit the Mental Health Foundation's website calendar.

MHF Information Service

Unit 110, Zone 23, 23 Edwin Street, Mt Eden, Auckland
PO Box 10051, Dominion Rd, Auckland 1446

Open 9am4.30pm, Monday to Friday
Phone (09) 623 4812

Disclaimer Information provided by the Information Service is not intended to replace qualified medical or professional advice. For diagnosis, treatment and medication, you should consult a health practitioner. We do not assume responsibility for any errors or omissions in published sources, and cannot guarantee the accuracy of these sources. Not all practices/treatments described in the literature will be available in New Zealand.

Copyright © 2015 Mental Health Foundation of New Zealand, All rights reserved.

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