Month: August 2016

Do it your way! Don’t miss the NDIS opportunity

Huge sweeping pic.jpg

(Above) At your service: a small part of RichmondPRA’s army of Peer Workers

Under the NDIS, individual people will become responsible for deciding what services they need and what organisations to get them from (See: How do you work with a service provider? Info sheet, page 1). Treat the NDIS as an opportunity to make sure you are getting the services YOU want, not just the services the organisation decides you want.

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Young minds matter to Kate

Prince George by Kate Middleton.jpg

(Above: Prince George)

HRH the Duchess of Cambridge emphasised mental health in her recent guest editor spot with Huffington Post UK launching Young Minds Matter on 17 February 2016 .

Here is what she had to say about prejudices and parental stigma: “Research published today by the Huffington Post indicates that around a third of parents still worry that they will look like a bad mother or father if their child has a mental health problem. Parenting is hard enough without letting prejudices stop us from asking for the help we need for ourselves and our children.

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Get high on…a brisk jog?


For decades we’ve believed that endorphins (naturally-occurring painkillers in our bodies) were the chemicals responsible for what’s commonly known as a “runner’s high.” In case you aren’t familiar with the term, a runner’s high can be experienced by pushing yourself hard with any serious exercise. Without getting too technical, when somebody hits a certain point of exertion, their brain will reward their efforts with a lovely burst of chemicals. This cocktail causes a pretty intense sensation of euphoria, happiness, excitement and a floaty feeling. The fact we thought this high was caused by endorphins makes sense, as full-on exercise will lead to physical discomfort, and physical discomfort causes your body to dispense endorphins as a natural painkiller. As endorphins have a lot in common with morphine, this explains the pleasurable effects. Logical, right?

Or at least that’s what we thought.

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Gang goes surfing 101308-IMG_8401

Fully sick, bro! From left: instructor Conrad, participant David, facilitator Laura, and participant James.

RichmondPRA’s Buckingham House at Surry Hills had a surfing group and they recommend that we all give it a try!

Facilitator Laura Coyle says, “The lessons were booked with Let’s Go Surfing Bondi (at the safer north end of the beach). The gentleman in the blue was our surf instructor, the very affable Conrad, who was very confident in the water.

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On the run with Jeff

Jeff on the run

Last year we read in Panorama about Jeff Tooth’s involvement with New Moves, a program developed by the Schizophrenia Fellowship which combines the three E’s: Education, Exercise and Eating (healthy eating, that is).

Jeff was so pleased with New Moves that he completed the training and is now a peer worker. Not only that but he has an ambition to run an ultramarathon for charity purposes.

To get in shape, over the past year or so Jeff has run a number of half marathons and even ultramarathons, including one mammoth 75km effort. You can tell he’s serious about it!
Not everyone who gets into physical fitness will want to go this far, but on the other hand, if you are determined enough and fit enough, no one will stop you trying if you do.

And yes, Jeff is thinking of recording a new CD. The rumour is it will be a more folksy sound that last years’ rocking, “Themes benevolent and personal.”

We hope to bring you more reports of Jeff’s progress with the running as they come to hand. WH

PS: Jeff is not related to Geoffrey in a preceding story.


Recovery as a lifestyle choice

Exercise Park

by Elizabeth Kempers

How lifestyle changes can promote recovery and counter the side effects of meds
With some small tweaks to your lifestyle, living effectively with mental health issues and the side effects of medications is possible. Small changes in three areas can produce big results. These things are diet, exercise and sleep.

In previous Panorama stories, Jessica from Enterpraise has shown what can be achieved just by focusing on diet. One of the side effects of medication can be weight gain. This means that if you are on medication which promotes weight gain more attention need to be paid to what you eat and drink.

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Why doctors sometimes won’t prescribe drugs

medicine pills and water

Strike the right balance. Too much medication can be bad for your health.

by Warren Heggarty

Many of us are on several different medications at once. It is important that we talk regularly about them to our prescribing doctors, dentists or nurses.

Geoffrey had an extremely sore throat and went to his local GP Dr Samir, fully expecting to be prescribed antibiotics. Dr Samir had other ideas however. “I think you have a viral infection,” he said, “so I won’t give you antibiotics now. They won’t do any good. If it doesn’t get better over the next couple of days, come back and see me then.” The throat got better of its own accord without medication.

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