A special issue of the Medical Journal of Australia includes a focus on the social determinants of the health of Indigenous Australians. This issue features an editorial by Michael Marmot, the former Chair of the World Health Organization (WHO) Commission on the Social Determinants of Health, as well as a number of research articles exploring related social, policy and biomedical issues.
New research from Australia and the USA offers evidence that women’s mental health is impacted by gender-based violence, but that women can recover and have strong resilience. The research offers evidence of the critical importance of addressing gender-based violence in women’s mental health promotion.
New research published in Biomed Central Medicine compares the incidence of depression in 18 countries. Researchers collaborated with the World Health Organization Survey Initiative from 20 centres to investigate the prevalence of depression and major depressive episodes (MDE) in the world.
Researchers from Miami University in Ohio have recently found that pet owners do better in the areas of physical fitness, self-esteem, conscientiousness, social communication, and reduced worrying and fearfulness, than people who do not have pets. Published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, researchers evaluated the benefits of owning a pet among “everyday people”.
Stigma and discrimination surrounding mental health issues will be challenged by a collaboration of leading mental health charities in Wales. Time to Change Wales will be the new national program led by the charities Gofal, Hafal, and Mind Cymru. Nearly £2 million will be granted to the program by the Big Lottery Fund Cymru, Comic Relief and the Welsh Government.
A recent study by the American Psychiatric Association found that there are significant racial-ethnic differences in depression-related mental health care for women after child delivery. In the study, all low-income women were found to have sub-optimal treatment as they were less likely to initiate and/or continue postpartum depression care. There were also racial and ethnic disparities among West Asian and Latin American women.
“Jails, and not hospitals, are the largest facilities housing psychiatric patients in the USA,” state researchers from the Center for Prisoner Health and Human Rights, a collaboration of the Miriam Hospital and Brown University. An estimated 10 million Americans cycle in and out of correctional facilities each year, with 2.3 million people being incarcerated. A history of substance use and dependence, or mental illness, is seen in more than half of all inmates. In spite of that, these individuals are released back into the community without health insurance or access to specialized medical care and treatment. Dr. Josiah D. Rich, M.D., M.P.H., director of the Center for Prisoner Health and Human Rights at the Miriam Hospital provides a perspective on this crisis in an article that appeared in the June 2 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.
The Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (MOHLTC) is inviting applications for three new Centres for Complex Diabetes Care (CCDC). A call for applications has been posted on the ministry website and submissions are welcomed up to the deadline of July 29, 2011. As part of the Ontario Diabetes Strategy, the MOHLTC is committed to addressing the needs of individuals with diabetes who have complex health requirements. To learn more about the Diabetes Strategy, go to www.health.gov.on.ca.
The American Geriatrics Society (AGS) has produced a guide to help healthcare professionals manage psychosis and the behavioural symptoms of dementia. The AGS Guide is available on their website atdementia.americangeriatrics.org and provides clinical information on the risk factors, evaluation and management of bipolar affective disorder, major depression, schizophrenia and the behavioural aspects of dementia.
The experience with and/or fear of violence has been linked to chronic illness, mental illness, and learning ability. The Urban Networks to Increase Thriving Youth (UNITY), which operates out of the Prevention Institute in California, has recently published fact sheets outlining key information on these relationships.